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Wally

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Lesson 2 October 1-7





The Great Controversy

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 08:02:27 AM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week's Study: Job 1:1-5, Job 1:6-12, Zech. 3:2, Matt. 4:1, Ezek. 28:12-16, Rom. 3:26, Heb. 2:14.

Memory Text: "And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"   Zechariah 3:2

Scattered across the pages of both the [Old Testament] and the [New Testament] lie many references and allusions to an unrelenting war between God and Satan, between good and evil on both cosmic and personal levels. Comparing these passages, we inlay their individual insights to form a mosaic window of truth through which we can perceive the total message of Scripture with greater clarity than otherwise."-The Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000), p. 969.

The great controversy theme forms a template that can help us better understand "the total message" of the Bible, especially the plan of salvation. Though the theme is much more apparent in the New Testament, it is found in the Old Testament, too. And perhaps nowhere in the Old Testament are we given a clearer glimpse of Satan and this conflict, and how they can powerfully affect life here, than in the book of Job.

This week we'll look at the broader reality behind this immediate reality that's the main focus of Job. And though our lives and stories are different from Job's, we have one thing in common: like Job, we are all involved in this controversy.

Since Job reveals much truth regarding the plan of salvation, there will be much we have in common with Job. And, those who will live through the time of trouble such as never was, without a Mediator, will have even more in common with Job. Unlike the 144,000, Job had a Mediator, so when he sinned he could be forgiven. Not so with the 144,000. They will not sin, for they will have developed a character that will cling to Christ no matter what. Let us learn the important lessons from the Book of Job that we might succeed where Job failed.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 08:28:44 AM »

Sunday October 2

A Little Heaven on Earth


The book of Job begins on a relatively positive note. From a worldly perspective at least, we see a man blessed in every way.

Read Job 1:1-4.

1:1   There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 
 1:2   And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 
 1:3   His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 
 1:4   And his sons went and feasted [in their] houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 


What do the texts reveal about the kind of life that Job lived? What were the positive aspects of Job's existence?

Job certainly seems to have it all, including a righteous character. The word translated in Job 1:1 as "blameless" NIV comes from a word that can mean "complete" or "full of integrity." The word for "upright" means "straight," which can give the idea of walking on a straight path. In short, the book opens with an almost Eden-like scene depicting a wealthy man of faithfulness and integrity who has it all.

The word translated in the KJV is perfect. I think it best describes what God wants us to understand. Yet, the author refrains from using it. Why? Because many do not believe that they can be perfect. Why? Because many teach you cannot be perfect. And, even of those who teach we can be perfect, many of those teach that this happen at the end of time with the 144,000. So, using the word perfect for Job, does not fit with the teaching of most teachers, and thus most in the church. But, we use the KJV since it is most faithful to the Word of God.

Job was indeed perfect in moral character.....when God said he was perfect. But, as with us, if we do not maintain our conversion, our connection with Christ, we do not retain our perfection of character. We cannot have the righteousness of Christ covering moral defects of character which are sin.

As we shall soon see as the Book progresses, Job looses his hold on Christ, just as his wife did. He will no longer retain the perfection God spoke of.


Nevertheless, he has it all in a fallen world.

Read Job 1:5, 6.

1:5   And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 
 1:6   Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
 

What do these texts reveal about the reality of the fallen world that Job inhabits?

There is great need of prayer for ourselves and for others, especially our children. Born with an evil fallen nature, we may sin, as did Job. And, our children may not retain pure hearts after conversion. So, Job prayed for them in case they had wandered away from Christ. How often did Job pray for his children? Why was he praying for them? It was their hearts he was concerned about. Explain to your Sabbath School class why it was that Job was praying regarding their hearts.


"Amid the festivities of his sons and daughters, he trembled lest his children should displease God. As a faithful priest of the household, he offered sacrifices for them individually. He knew the offensive character of sin, and the thought that his children might forget the divine claims, led him to God as an intercessor in their behalf."-Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1140.

Clearly Job had it good, about as good as it can get here. As Eden-like as the scene is presented-a man with a full life, big family, a great name, and many possessions-it's still a life lived on a fallen planet steeped in sin, and so, as Job will soon see, it comes with all the dangers that existence here brings.

No, we do not see an Edenic home. We see Job pleading with God all the time. "Thus did Job continually" offer sacrifices for his children "individually" that God might forgive them if they sinned. Job knew what many today do not understand. He understood the evil nature of man, and his continual need of Christ in their hearts. So many today believe they may sin and retain their salvation, Job knew otherwise. How often do we pray that our children might be spared for another day? Our mediation for them allows Christ to mediate for them, to give them more time to repent and form a character fit for heaven, in case they sin. 


What are the good things in your life right now? How can you learn to be always in an attitude of thankfulness for them?

We must learn that we need to be in an attitude of prayer continually. We need to learn that we must watch and pray in order to be able to resist the temptations to sin. We must learn the simplicity of the gospel of grace. We must learn the message Christ has given to His church today.

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


Notice that Christ not only rebukes His church, but He does so in love and hope that we as individuals might be converted. And, He gives us the answer that will bring this about! He loves us individually and is speaking to our hearts today. He knocks on the door of the heart, wanting in.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 08:44:10 AM »
Monday October 3

Cosmic Conflict

The book of Job begins on earth, in a place of peace and tranquility.

No, the author assumes that there have been no great trials in the life of Job and his family. But, this is not true. One does not come to the place where God says "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" without having overcome great trials? Job character was formed over time, time in which there were great trials. We grow in our understanding and our strength of character as we suffer. It was that way with Christ, and it is that way with us. This is why we glory in our tribulation (Romans 5:3-5). It develops our character and glorifies God as we abide in Christ.

In the Book of Job we see illustrated that God gives to man a period of temporal life in which we may learn to trust in God, and make a full surrender of our will to Him. We see that we are protected by God in time. Satan may not injure us or our families unless God allows it. It is a life of suffering that we have in this world, but amid that suffering, we may have love, joy, and peace if we will abide in Christ and He in us. 


However, by the sixth verse of the first chapter, the venue changes. It instantly shifts to an entirely different aspect of reality, one that is not seen by humans unless through divine revelation. And interestingly enough, this other aspect of reality, heaven, doesn't seem to be as tranquil and peaceful as things are on earth, at least in what is first presented here.

Heaven is peaceful and tranquil. Satan was cast out. He only attended a meeting, but did not disturb the peace of heaven. It is this earth that suffers on his account. He may have been able to stand at the gate of heaven, but he could not enter. The Earth is his domain, as we see in the Book of Job. But, even if he were not here any  longer, he has infected humanity and it is only in Christ that we can manifest a different character than that of Satan.


Read Job 1:6-12.

1:6   Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 
 1:7   And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 
 1:8   And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
 1:9   Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 
 1:10   Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
 1:11   But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
 1:12   And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 


Though we will study these texts in more detail later in this quarter, what is happening here? How does it contrast to what we have just seen happening with Job on earth?

There's so much to explore in these few verses. They reveal aspects of our universe that all our space telescopes don't detect and that human science doesn't even begin to fathom. What's fascinating, though, is that they also reveal a cosmic conflict. It's not a calm, peaceful, and tranquil conversation that we access in this passage. God talks about Job with (to use a human idea) a sense of pride, like a father proud of his son. Satan, in contrast, mocks what God says about Job. "Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?" Job 1:9. One could almost hear a sneering sarcasm, a mocking tone in what Satan says to God.

It is not pride that God is revealing, but He is telling Satan the truth that he is losing the battle. The great controversy between Christ and Satan is illustrated here. Satan is losing his hold over humanity. Here is one who is keeping the commandments of God and has the faith of Jesus. Job understands the lesson of the slain Lamb. Satan tries to protect his pride by arguing and setting up a contest that he believes he can win. What is the contest? Get this right, so we are not misled when Job sins. Who wins the contest between God and Satan?

Though the text doesn't explicitly say that this confrontation was in heaven, that's surely where it was. And thus you have this created being, an angel, standing before God in heaven and challenging Him to His face, before other "sons of God." It's hard to imagine someone talking to a worldly leader like that, but here we have a being doing so to God Himself. How could this happen?

Pride. Satan is blinded by pride. He believes he is wiser than God. He thought he would win the contest. He did not think there was such great power in God's grace. He really did think he could win. Why would he think this? Could he win if the battle was between you and Satan?


The answer is found in a theme that appears in various places and in different ways all through the Bible. It's called the great controversy, and it provides a powerful template to help us understand not just the book of Job but the entire Bible and its explanation of the whole sad story of sin and suffering on earth. And even more important, it helps us better understand just what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross in order to solve the problem of sin and suffering on the earth.

Yes, the answer is found in the controversy between Christ and Satan. But, if we are to be successful, if God is to prevail in this controversy, which He will, it is important that we understand what the controversy involves. Many have been deceived. So, let us look at this which the author has rightly instilled into our lesson.


     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26.
     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10.
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.
     Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
     That the law which was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25. 


Don't do as many do, don't pick and choose that which fits with your understanding. Read it all and believe it all. The deceptions are great. Ask God so give you grace to understand the controversy and where Satan has attempted to deceive God's people. He has succeeded to a great degree. Here is opened before us the truth, the foundation principles involved in the controversy. If you can rightly understand what has been presented, then you can understand what you must do in order to be on the winning side, and thus glorify God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 03:27:11 PM »
Tuesday October 4

The Conflict on Earth


The book of Job pulls back a veil and reveals a dimension of existence that our eyes and ears and worldly philosophies could never show us. (If anything, these verses should show us just how limited our eyes and ears and worldly philosophies are when it comes to understanding the big picture!) And what these few verses show, too, is a conflict between God and this other being, Satan. And though the controversy is first introduced in the book of Job as taking place in heaven, it quickly shifts to the earth. All through the Bible we find texts that point to this ongoing conflict, one that involves us, as well.

The controversy centers on us. We are the ones both Satan and God are attempting to win over. The deceptions invented by Satan are for us. Just as he deceived devils, so has he deceived many in God's church. Let's again consider exactly what the great controversy involves. Satan is following a very pointed plan to catch all in his web of deception. Here is his plan.

     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26.
     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10.
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.
    Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
     That the law which was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25.


Read the following texts. How do they reveal the reality of a conflict being fought here on earth with evil supernatural powers?

Gen. 3:1-4
 3:1   Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 
 3:2   And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 
 3:3   But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 
 3:4   And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 
Zech. 3:2

Matt. 4:1
 4:1   Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 

1 Pet. 5:8
 5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

1 John 3:8
 3:8   He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 

Rev. 12:9
 12:9   And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 


These texts are just a small sampling of numerous texts that point, either explicitly or implicitly, to a literal devil, a supernatural being with malicious intentions. Though many people view the idea of Satan as a primitive myth, with such clear Bible testimony we should not fall for this deception.

We ought not fall for such a deception. Actually, it would surprise me to find any Seventh-day Adventist who believes such a thing. Do you?  Of course not. Does that make us safe from Satan's deceptions? Look at how he deceived Israel. Even the disciples after spending 3 1/2 years with the greatest Teacher, did not know Jesus had to die. Peter tried to stop Him from going to Jerusalem where He would suffer and die that we might live. Such a deception!  Why are we discussing a mythical devil when we ought not be baptized if we believe such a fairy tale? Do you think our pastors may be baptizing some who do not believe there is a devil?

The deceptions foisted upon Israel are in the church today. Oh, not the very same lies, but pretty close. Nicodemus, among the better in the nation,  thought he had eternal life. How is it today? Jesus tells us exactly how it is. The same deception exists in the church now. Many believe they are rich and increase with goods and in need of nothing. But, they do not know they are miserable, wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked. Such a deception! They believe they are alive when in fact they are spiritually dead.

What are ways that, even now, you see the reality of Satan's work in our world? What is our only protection?

How about in what ways do you see the reality of Satan's work in the church? Let's discover our deceptions before we begin to search out the deceptions in the world.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 09:28:32 AM »

Wednesday October 5

Job as a Microcosm

The opening scenes of the book of Job show us a few crucial points. First, as we have stated, they reveal the reality of another dimension beyond what, of ourselves, we can now know-a heavenly dimension with heavenly beings other than God. Second, they also show just how interconnected our earthly life here is with the heavenly realm. What happens here on the earth is not disconnected from the heavenly beings in this realm. Third, they reveal a moral conflict in heaven that is indeed connected to what happens here on earth.

There are important lessons in the opening of the Book of Job. Lets us look at three important lessons.

First, there is such a thing as perfection of moral character, and we do not have to wait for the 144,000 to obtain this perfection. Job was not ready for translation, but he was perfect in "moral" character. We see he was not sealed, nor did he even understand where many trials come from, for he blamed God for his suffering.


"And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" 1:8.


Second, God gives to man a period of temporal life in which we can learn of God and be transformed in nature. While it is true we retain our fallen evil nature, we may become partakers of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and escape the corruption that is in our flesh. We are given power to keep it under so we shall not be castaways (1 Cor. 9:27). We call this a period of probation where we are protected from premature death.

 1:10   Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
 1:11   But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
 1:12   And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 


Notice that God allows and God prevents what Satan can do. This continues in a second contest:

"And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life." 2:6.

Notice that God again allows, but restrains. The devil cannot cut short Job's period of probation. Thus, when Job sins, Satan cannot take his life before God gives Job opportunity to repent, which he does. This is important to understand. There are very many false teachers who pervert the gospel by presenting a false argument that one must either go to hell or heaven when he is killed suddenly after sinning. Thus, allowing for unrepentant sinners to have eternal life, for we know God will not send to hell one who has been faithful and slips and falls. That is not our God. But, neither will God take to heaven unrepentant sinners. He allows time for repentance. It is the character of our God. He is not arbitrary. When Uzza struck the ark of the covenant, he was struck dead by God. But, do not think God is arbitrary and did this without having given Uzza much time to form a Christian character. Uzza had rejected God's love and had passed over the line. It was not the first time he had disobeyed God. His character was formed in the wrong way, and his time of probation was ended

Three, there is power in prayer. One of the saddest things for those who gain eternal life will be in the thousand years just after the second coming. There will be many tears. We who are there by God's grace will see some of those we had prayed for. God really heard our prayers. For this we shall rejoice. Then, it will be understood that there are many who we had opportunity to pray for that are not there. We will sorrow over our lack of having interceded for so many others, some which we loved much, but not enough to spend time in intercessory prayer.

In the opening chapter we read that Job prayed and offered sacrifices for his children.


"And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually." 1:5.


How do we know God answers our prayers for others? He heard Job's prayers and answered them.

"Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." 1:10.


God protected all Job had including his children. God answered his prayers for his family, even his wife who told him to curse God. God placed a "hedge" around his children. Yes, He removed it, but we are not like the unrepentant, we understand, Job's concern was not for his children's temporal life, but for their spiritual life. Do you think his children will be in heaven? I do.


In short, these opening verses, and the ones that follow, are a kind of miniportrayal of the great controversy itself. The verses show one way in which the great controversy, though cosmic in scale, was manifested in the life of one man, Job. And as we will see, the issues involved encompass us all.

The book of Job shows Satan in confrontation with God. What it doesn't show is how it first started. How do the following verses help us get some understanding about the controversy?

Isa. 14:12-14
 14:12   How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 
 14:13   For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 
 14:14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 

Ezek. 28:12-16
 28:12   Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 
 28:13   Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 
 28:14   Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 
 28:15   Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 
 28:16   By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 

1 Tim. 3:6
 3:6   Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 


Yes, Lucifer fell and was cast to the Earth. Let us continue a little that we might better see the beginning on this earth where the controversy rages. Adam sinned and passed his fallen nature to all of humanity. We naturally have no hatred of sin. We are aligned with it and have enmity towards God. We must be born again of His Spirit in order to have a hatred for Satan and sin. We see our condition and we see that God has made provision for us to not only win for ourselves the battle, but to vindicate God's character in this controversy. Here is the promise of victory.


"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.


We see here the promise to give to us a hatred for sin. This is a conditional promise. What are the two conditions which have to be met for us to gain this hatred of sin?


Ellen G. White talked about "the law of love" as the foundation of God's government. She noted that because God does not want "forced obedience," He therefore "grants freedom of will" to all His moral creatures. However, "there was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven." - Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 34, 35. She then quoted from the texts above in Isaiah and Ezekiel to describe the fall of Satan.

The crucial concept here is the "law of love" and the reality of free will. The Bible tells us that Satan became self-exalted and proud because of His own splendor and beauty. Why this happened we don't know; it must be part of what 2 Thessalonians 2:7 calls the "the mystery of iniquity", a connection that makes perfect sense when we understand how closely tied God's law is to the foundation of His government. The point is that by the time Satan is introduced in Job, his fall was past, and the controversy it had started was well under way.

What are some important choices that you are facing right now, and what Bible promises can you claim to ensure that you make the right ones?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 07:48:59 AM »
Thursday October 6

Answers at the Cross


The book of Job brings up many important issues. But many of these same issues do not get answered there. We need the rest of the Bible. And even then we still "see through a glass, darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12).

Very important issues are not only  brought up in the Book of Job, but they reveal "present truth" that the quarterly does not teach. Three most important lessons we have discussed, and they were brought out in the opening chapters. What I feel is the most important lesson is yet to be revealed. Job's greatest trial has not yet been seen. What caused Job to fall? We know he lost his hold on Christ, but what temptation was the crowing blow?


As we saw yesterday, for example, the book of Job says nothing about how Satan's rebellion started. Also, it says nothing about how Satan is ultimately defeated in the great controversy. In fact, despite his major role in all that follows in the book-after appearing only twice in Job (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7)-Satan does not come into view again. He simply vanishes, even though the destruction that he caused remains. The rest of the book doesn't even mention him; instead, almost all that follows in the book is about God, not Satan. And that makes sense because, in the end, the book of Job is about God and what He is really like.

The Book of Job is indeed about God, but He is not mentioned very often. It is the story of a man, a man who was perfect morally when the Book opened, but soon fell. The story dwells on the man, not on Satan or on God. A man who knew much of the truth, but without Christ in his heart could not live it, even though he had been doing it very well. The Book reveals what happens when we fall and no longer have grace in the heart.

Preconceived ideas often enter the mind from false teaching. So, at the beginning of our study I have attempted to warn our students that this Book has been taught wrongly in the three times it has been presented in the quarterly since I have been in the church. When one has suffered greatly in life, this Book is one that generally is studied to learn about suffering and how God relates to it. Since like many, I was converted when I discovered I needed God. This was one the first Books in the Bible that I studied from beginning to end. And, at the end we see the truth confirmed, Job sinned. So, I have already pointed this out, not using my words, but quoting the God of heaven.  He said that Job spoke words that perverted His Truth. And, He said that Job was self righteous. And, Job said he repented.

Now, having rightly seen the truth, we may continue to read the Book looking for the real lessons God would have us discover. Three of the most important we covered in Wednesday's lesson. Soon we shall see what I believe to be the most important for those who live in our day and understand the gospel truth.


Nevertheless, the Bible doesn't leave us without answers to the question about the defeat of Satan in the great controversy. And central to that defeat is the death of Jesus on the cross.

How do the following texts help explain what Jesus did that will lead to the end of the great controversy? John 12:31, 32; Rev. 12:10-12; Rom. 3:26; Heb. 2:14.

We all understand what Jesus did. We do need to behold Jesus uplifted on the cross. We need to listen to His Words and understand the grace revealed. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating His life. It is by beholding we are converted. And, we need to die daily, not just once. But, in the light of this, we need to study what this Book is teaching and support it from the Bible where there is need.


At the cross, Satan was fully exposed to the universe for what he really was, a murderer. Those who knew Jesus when He reigned in heaven must have been astonished to see Him be so degraded by Satan's minions. That's the "judgment" on Satan that Jesus talked about in John 12. At the cross, when the Savior died for "the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2), only then could heaven proclaim that salvation has now come. Here and now the divine promise, made before the world began (2 Tim. 1:9), became a reality. Because of His death on our behalf, Christ could be "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3:26. That is, at the cross He refuted the devil's charges that God could not uphold His law (be just) and still, at the same time, save those who have broken that law (the justifier). After Calvary, Satan's doom was assured.

Yes, but the Bible says that
"many are called, but few are chosen." Matt. 22:14. Why do so many fail to be saved? Because Christ does not "justify" all who have broken the law. There has been a great lie brought into the churches today, just as was the case when Jesus came to His own and His own knew Him not. Satan is very clever. He has not been sleeping for the last 2,000 years. He has been successfully laying a foundation of lies that has caught most professing believers in his traps. "Just believe" is a great deception which has found its way into God's church. Many think they are rich and increased with goods, just as Israel thought, but know not that they are miserable, wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked. When Jesus tells us the last of the seven churches will go through this condition, and when we know there are multiple gospels being preached from our pulpits and printed on our presses, we would think this would be warning enough for all to contemplate if the warning given in the third chapter of Revelation applies to the church today. And, even more, if the warning applies to me.

But, Satan has understood the importance of the warning spoken of by Jesus, and has spoken through teachers to pervert the meaning. But, if one were to read the Words just as Jesus presented them, and understand them to be just what they are, then at least the truth could be seen in its correct meaning.


How can we learn to rejoice in what Christ has done for us at the cross, even amid the trials we face in the great controversy now?

Understanding that Job sinned and was not justified through most the Book will help. Understanding that self righteousness is sin will help. Understanding that when we speak things that are not true, displeases God will help. Understanding a man can be morally perfect will help. Understanding there is a period of probation granted to man that he may be converted and learn of his continual need of Jesus in his heart will greatly help. Understanding that "just believe" is not what Jesus meant in John chapter three. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.... the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:19, 26. We must be born again, born again of His Spirit. Jesus tells us "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6. If we do not have His Spirit dwelling in the heart, then we do not have the Son of God. And "if we have not His Spirit, we are none of His." Romans 8:9.

These are the verses that help us to better understand the Book of Job and what is present truth in our day, and in our church. Babylon has fallen because she drank the wine of the lies Satan had hatched. But, God expects better of us. We used to be called the people of the Book. But, shamefully that is not the case today. We see rebellion in the church being led by men in high places. The Word of God is disrespected in many of our schools of "higher" learning. When the wine of Babylon is found being taught in our seminaries, then we may know the Laodicean condition does indeed apply to the church in our day. How could evolution find it way into our schools? It is because what was said of the church over a hundred years ago can be said today just as truthfully.
"The minds of many are clouded with unbelief because those who unite with the church as the chosen of God do not reveal the virtues that are the fruits of the Spirit. Joining the church is not a sure evidence that a man has joined himself to Christ. The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ." 12MR 51. 

The answers to all of our problems are indeed found at the cross. Christ was lifted up that we might "look and live." When we know the simplicity of the gospel, then we shall see revival and reformation in God's church. It will come, it has begun. This promise we find in the Book of Ezekiel, modern day Israel may claim:


36:22   Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 
 36:23   And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 
 36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 03:13:27 PM »
Wednesday's lesson asked what choices I am facing right now, and promises that can be claimed. I can testify that my daily experience is an ongoing choice and need to abide in Christ, for apart from Him I can do no good thing. I face the choice of abiding or separating from Him if I allow my mind to wander away. I appreciate the spiritual guide that the fruits of the Spirit are in this experience--if I am truly abiding, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in my life without one missing. If I lack His Spirit's abiding in my heart due to a sinful neglect of my own, I rejoice that I can again invite Jesus into my heart to abide there. Some encouraging promises:

John 15:4-5
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 07:04:06 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  We may not be facing the trials Job did, but maybe some are facing similar trials. I am thinking of Christians facing what Muslims are doing to young girls and their mothers and fathers in the Middle East. But, we all are tempted daily. Sometimes the temptations are great, sometimes they are not. Jesus has promised He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.  Is this not a great promise? Does the promise ever fail? No, the promise never fails. Then why are we ever tempted beyond what we can bear? This is a promise which has a condition attached to it. Pastor Sean has made it plain how he can overcome the temptations he faces each day. Jesus tells us to abide in Him and He will abide in us. The everlasting covenant is a promise to give us a hatred for the sin that now so easily besets so many of us. But, not all have this hatred. It is because it is a conditional promise. We must have Jesus in our hearts, we must be fully surrendered to Him in order to have power to overcome even the smallest temptation.

When Jesus takes possession of the heart, then He brings with Him all of the fruits of His Spirit, not one is missing. What a God!! He loves us and gave Himself for us. This is what Job needed in order to maintain his integrity. When he let loose of Jesus, he had no power to resist the corruption in his flesh. But, like Moses after his great sin, he responded to the still small voice telling what he had done to Jesus. Well....maybe in this case, it was a little more than a still small voice telling him what he had done. God spoke to him out of the whirlwind and kept on and on so that Job finally understood the reproach he had  brought upon God. He saw who he was outside of Christ and repented in dust and ashes. God loved Job even in his sin, and so does He love you and me!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2016, 05:58:47 AM »
Friday October 7

Further Thought: The concept of a struggle, a controversy, between good and evil is found in many cultures. The idea has persisted through the millennia often expressed through myths. Today, because of the influence of higher criticism and modernist rationalism, many Christians deny the reality of a literal devil and evil angels. These were, the argument goes, just a primitive culture's symbols for human and natural evil. From our perspective as Seventh-day Adventists, it's hard to imagine how anyone makes sense of the Bible at all without belief in the reality of the devil and his angels.

Not all Christians have fallen for the deception that denies the reality of this cosmic conflict between supernatural forces of good and evil. An evangelical scholar named Gregory Boyd, for instance, has written extensively on the reality of the age-long (but not eternal) battle between God and Satan. In the introduction to his book God at War, after commenting on a few passages in Daniel 10, Boyd wrote: "The Bible from beginning to end presupposes spiritual beings who exist 'between' humanity and God and whose behavior significantly affects human existence, for better or for worse. Indeed, just such a conception, I argue in this work, lies at the center of the biblical world-view."-Gregory A. Boyd, God at War (Downer's Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997), p. 11. How correct he is.

It is interesting that even in heathen cultures, some understand that a sacrifice can please God. But, to offer a human being to appease God does not make them right. The question is, do we understand the character of our God? The "great controversy" is focused on two issues that we need to keep in mind. If we miss these two central issues, it will be hard to understand the gospel, much less be able to teach the Book of Job or any other Book in the Bible. What are these two central issues where the battle for truth rages?


Discussion Questions:

    What other texts talk about Satan and other demonic powers? What is lost if these are interpreted as merely symbols for the dark side of humanity?

One of the most important that we need to understand is found at the very beginning of this Earth's history moments after the Fall. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15. When we have swallowed Satan's lies regarding the gospel, it may be that we can be saved if we understand what is promised in this verse. It is the "everlasting covenant" made before the foundation of the Earth was laid. There are conditions to this promise. What is the promise for you and me, and what are the conditions? These verse speaks directly to Satan's power over all of humanity. What is lost if we deny this power, and the power of God to fulfill His promise made in Genesis 3:15? The Book of Job can be better understood when we understand the promises made here and the conditions necessary to be saved.

    Niccolo Machiavelli, a Florentine writer of the sixteenth century, said that it was much better for a ruler to be feared by his subjects than to be loved by them. In contrast, Ellen G. White wrote: "Even when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love." - The Great Controversy, pp. 498, 499. Why does God want us to serve Him from love, and not fear?

In this quote from a modern day prophet, we find the foundation of the "great controversy". It is amazing it appears in our lesson. The author of our lesson misses it and the point of the quote, especially since this week's lesson is dealing with the "great controversy." What is the foundation of the controversy?

The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love."


Notice that we see both "justice" and "mercy" in this statement. What has Satan attempted to do with both justice and mercy? This is what we need to understand, just as the unfallen worlds need to see clearly. God does not give up either one to satisfy the other, they both met at the cross. Satan has stolen a march on God's church. We see two opposing sides of the battle in the church. Neither are right, even though they present a truth. What is the issue and how do we see Satan's success with many in the church?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2016, 08:55:38 AM »

Wednesday October 5

Job as a Microcosm


Yes, Lucifer fell and was cast to the Earth. Let us continue a little that we might better see the beginning on this earth where the controversy rages. Adam sinned and passed his fallen nature to all of humanity. We naturally have no hatred of sin. We are aligned with it and have enmity towards God. We must be born again of His Spirit in order to have a hatred for Satan and sin. We see our condition and we see that God has made provision for us to not only win for ourselves the battle, but to vindicate God's character in this controversy. Here is the promise of victory.


"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.


We see here the promise to give to us a hatred for sin. This is a conditional promise. What are the two conditions which have to be met for us to gain this hatred of sin?



The question you started, Richard, was about the two conditions that need to be fulfilled for the promise of Genesis 3:15 to be our experience in conversion. Two conditions that must be met in order for us to have a true hatred for sin are that we must behold the loveliness of Jesus, see that He made an infinite sacrifice for sin, and by beholding Him, and appreciating His great love for us, we need to make an entire surrender of our hearts in true conversion (faith is an entire surrender, not a mere mental assent), as we see John speaks of:

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).


The gospel is not complicated, but it takes time to experience it. It is not enough to just look to Jesus once to have continuous life in the soul through faith. We need to behold Him continually in order to have moral perfection like Job did. Such perfection is a gift through the imputed righteousness of Christ (in which we have no share) so that we can receive His imparted righteousness by abiding (which, though not a work in which we have any merit, we are to continually cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and in so doing, all the fruits of His Spirit will be manifested in our life--not one will be missing!). Only by this continual experience of growth/abiding in Christ is it possible to hate sin, because we become recipients of new hearts and minds, partakers of the divine nature:

Ezekiel 36
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

2 Peter 1:4 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2016, 07:10:44 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! thank you for sharing. 

We must make a full surrender in order to allow Christ to write His law upon the heart. We must be converted from a sinner, we must be brought to a repentance not to be repented of. Which brings us to a second condition that had to be met, not by us, but by Christ. In order for man to come to repentance, what must happen? How is man made repentant? Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. Repentance is a broken heart for what our sins have done to Christ. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." 2 Corinthians 7:10. We must first see the goodness of God before we will love and trust Him with the whole heart. "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." Romans 2:4.

And, how is it that we know of God's mighty love for us? It has to be while we were yet sinners in order to transform us. He has to love us in our sins in order to brings us out of them. How did He prove His great love, His grace? He not only died for us, He took our sins upon Himself and suffered the punishment we deserve that we might have the reward He deserves. Thus, we see the other condition for our salvation, Christ must be bruised on our account. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." Isaiah 53:4-11.

Yes, Christ fulfilled this condition that we might gain enmity against sin. What a God we serve!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Wally

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 03:58:25 AM »
Monday October 3

Cosmic Conflict

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. "

Though the text doesn't explicitly say that this confrontation was in heaven, that's surely where it was. And thus you have this created being, an angel, standing before God in heaven and challenging Him to His face, before other "sons of God." It's hard to imagine someone talking to a worldly leader like that, but here we have a being doing so to God Himself. How could this happen?


A question came up during lesson study about this.  Satan was cast out of heaven.  I can't find in the Bible or the SOP where he was ever allowed into heaven again.  He could harass angels at the gate (until after Jesus rose from the dead), but not inside.  Where was this meeting?  I don't think we can know for sure--unless I've missed something.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 12:10:56 PM »
Not sure, Wally. You are right, he stood at the gate attempting to influence angels with his lies. Maybe because he was claiming to be the "Adam" of Earth, he was allowed into the meeting in heaven. 

The author of the lesson did not choose his words carefully when he said "And thus you have this created being, an angel, standing before God in heaven and challenging Him to His face, before other "sons of God."

Yes, he was with the "sons of God", but he was not a "son of God."   Does not "other" denote he was  said to be a "son of God"?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--4th Quarter 2016--The Great Controversy
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2016, 11:18:21 PM »
Wednesday December 21

A House on the Rock

Read Job 31:24–34. What else can we learn about Job?

No wonder the Lord said what He did about the life and character of Job. This is a man who clearly lived out his faith, a man whose works revealed the reality of his relationship with God. This, of course, made his complaint all the more bitter: Why was this happening to me? And, of course, it made the arguments of his friends as vain and hollow as they were.

Actually, because of his three friends attack on Job's character, they made it a self fulfilling prophecy. Job did fall and became self righteous. And, Job's fourth friend's argument came from God and was not hollow at all. Job was self righteous as Elihu said.


But there’s a deeper and more important message that we can take from the reality of Job’s faithful and obedient life. Notice how closely the life he lived in the past was tied to how he responded to the tragedies that befell him later. It was not by chance, or luck, or sheer willpower that Job refused to “ ‘curse God, and die’ ” (Job 2:9). No, it was because all those years of faithfulness and obedience to God gave him the faith and character that enabled him to trust in the Lord, regardless of what happened to him.

Yes, and no. It was indeed his character that kept him from cursing God. But, any good thing that came from the heart of Job, came because of his connection with Christ. When he fell from grace, self was alive and well. But, he still did not curse God. When Moses struck the Rock, self was alive. His connection with Christ had been broken. But, he did not murder anyone. But, was angry with His brother without a cause. We need to be very clear on our teaching.
 

Read Matthew 7:22–27.

7:22   Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 
 7:23   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 
 7:24   Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 
 7:25   And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 
 7:26   And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 
 7:27   And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 


What is found in these verses that reveals the reason Job stayed faithful?

The key to Job’s major victory here was found in all the “smaller” victories he had before (see also Luke 16:10). It was his faithful adherence to right, without being willing to compromise, that made Job what he was. What we see in Job is an example of what the book of James says about the role of works in a life of faith: “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22, NKJV). What an important principle of the Christian life is revealed in this text. In the story of Job we see this principle played out in a powerful way. Job was made of the same flesh and bone as all of us; yet, through the grace of God and his own diligent effort he lived a life of faithful obedience to God.

Yes, Job was faithful. But, to not include his sins in the discussion is very misleading. His faith did not hold fast through his trials. He fell. So, we need to discuss why he did not curse God. Yet, it was not until God rebuked Job that he prayed for his three friends. Was King David faithful? Yes, he was. But, that does not mean he did not fall.


What choices do you need to make in order to live as faithfully as did Job?

We need to be reconciled to God and maintain that conversion experience. What must we do in order to be converted, and how do we keep that connections with Christ?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.