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Wally

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The Holy Spirit and Spirituality




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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 04:58:34 AM »


(Commentary in navy blue)


Introduction


Many of us have heard the words: "And I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." And, if baptized, we surely heard them just before a minister immersed us in the water (see Matt. 28:19).

Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Spirit is mentioned right there with the Father and the Son.

And no wonder. The Seventh-day Adventist Church's Fundamental Belief no. 5, "God the Holy Spirit," reads: "God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the Father and the Son. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth."

Nevertheless, as we read the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we see the direct activity and work of God the Father. His actions are everywhere. In the New Testament, especially the Gospels, we read again and again about the work and activity of Jesus, the Son. Jesus-His life, death, and ministry in heaven- dominates the New Testament.

In contrast to the activity of both the Father and the Son, the work of the Holy Spirit is not as openly depicted in either Testament.

But there is a reason for this contrast: the Holy Spirit does not seek to be the center of attention. He plays more of a behind-the-scenes role. The Father and the Son are more directly revealed in the Word. And that's because the Holy Spirit is there to point us, not to Himself, but to Jesus and what Jesus has done for us.

As we study the work of the Holy Spirit, we will see how central He is to our Christian experience. The Holy Spirit, who, as God Himself, knows God as no person can; thus He can reveal God to us in a trustworthy and reliable manner. The Holy Spirit first inspired the Bible writers, and the Holy Spirit today guides us in our study of what He had inspired these writers to communicate. The Holy Spirit gives assurance of our salvation through Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:16), and He gives evidence of God's work in us (1 John 3:24). The Holy Spirit also cleanses us from sin and sanctifies us. "ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11,). The Spirit produces in us lifelong growth in holiness, bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit within us-"love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:" (Gal. 5:22, 23).

"The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer." - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671.

Because of His crucial role in the lives of believers, this quarter's study will help us better understand the great gift we have in the Holy Spirit.

At the time of this writing, Frank M. Hasel, Ph.D., was dean of the Theological Department at Bogenhofen Seminary in Austria, Europe, where he was also the director of the Ellen G. White Study Center. In 2009 his wife died of cancer. Since then he learns to trust God's goodness in new ways every day and experiences the comfort, peace, and transforming power of the Holy Spirit in his life.

There is great need to understand the office of the Holy Spirit and the power He brings when we invite Him to take possession of the heart and mind. We look forward to the study this quarter in this new year.

Heavenly Father, give your Holy Spirit as we study your Word, we pray in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 04:59:31 AM »
Lesson 1 December 31-January 6

The Spirit and the Word

Sabbath Afternoon



Read for This Week's Study: 2 Pet. 1:19-21, 1 Cor. 2:9-13, Ps. 119:160, John 17:17.

Memory Text: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

The Bible says the following about itself: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Scripture fulfills this role because it is the Word of God, revealed to humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible the Holy Spirit reveals God's will to us, showing us how to live a life pleasing to Him.

But the Holy Spirit was operational not only in the distant past, in the origin of the Bible. He is involved with the Word of God in many other important ways even today. And perhaps the most important is our reading the Word and desiring to understand it properly. This is when we need the Holy Spirit. This same divine Spirit awakens in us the desire to embrace the Word of God and to apply its teaching to our lives. Thus, the Spirit works with and through the Written Word to transform us into new creatures in Christ.

Amen!  Jesus promised the Comforter when He ascended into heaven.


    The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.  Desire of Ages, 671. 



This week we will trace the work of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Scriptures.
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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 05:01:26 AM »
Sunday January 1

The Holy Spirit and Revelation

How does God ensure that His will is faithfully transmitted to fallen human beings? He does this in two major related activities of the Holy Spirit: revelation and inspiration.

In the process of revelation, human beings are dependent upon the help of Someone outside of themselves to reveal things to us that we, as created (and fallen) beings, cannot know of ourselves. That is, the Holy Spirit teaches us truths that have to be told to us (see, for example, Dan. 2:19-23); otherwise we could never know them through natural means.

Amen. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.


Revelation is a process in which God makes Himself and His divine will known to humans. The basic idea associated with the word revelation is an unveiling, or uncovering, a disclosure of something that otherwise is hidden. We need such a revelation because, as finite and fallen beings separated from God because of sin, we are greatly limited in what we can learn on our own. We are dependent upon God to know His will. Hence we are dependent on God's revelation because we are not God and have only a very limited natural knowledge of Him.

Read 2 Peter 1:19-21.

1:19   We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 
 1:20   Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 
 1:21   For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost. 
 


What does this say about the origin of the biblical prophetic message? What does the divine origin of the biblical message tell us about the authority of the Bible?

There are indeed holy men through whom God works. The Bible is not coming to us through men who profess to love God, but who loved God will all the heart, soul, and mind. We need not the wisdom of man to interpret Scripture. The Bible interprets itself. And, God sends teachers who are not just dressed in sheep's clothing, but who are filled with the Spirit of God. They will point fallen man to the Bible and to Jesus Christ.


According to the apostle Peter, the prophetic message of the Old Testament was not of human origin. The prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way that the content of their message came from God. These men did not create the message themselves. They were merely the vessels of the message, not the originators. Peter was very intentional in stressing the Spirit-inspired source of the prophecies: though written by men, "prophecy came not in old time by the will of man" (2 Pet. 1:21). And it is this divine origin that gives the Bible its ultimate authority over our lives.
God used human beings to proclaim His Word to the world. How can we be used by the Holy Spirit to do something similar today, not in writing Scripture but in proclaiming what has already been written?

We can use our tongues and our pens to proclaim the truth, but more important, we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and grace to reveal the truth in our lives.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 04:55:30 PM »
Lesson 1 December 31-January 6

The Spirit and the Word

Sabbath Afternoon



Read for This Week's Study: 2 Pet. 1:19-21, 1 Cor. 2:9-13, Ps. 119:160, John 17:17.

Memory Text: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

The Bible says the following about itself: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Scripture fulfills this role because it is the Word of God, revealed to humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible the Holy Spirit reveals God's will to us, showing us how to live a life pleasing to Him.

But the Holy Spirit was operational not only in the distant past, in the origin of the Bible. He is involved with the Word of God in many other important ways even today. And perhaps the most important is our reading the Word and desiring to understand it properly. This is when we need the Holy Spirit. This same divine Spirit awakens in us the desire to embrace the Word of God and to apply its teaching to our lives. Thus, the Spirit works with and through the Written Word to transform us into new creatures in Christ.

Amen!  Jesus promised the Comforter when He ascended into heaven.


    The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.  Desire of Ages, 671. 



This week we will trace the work of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Scriptures.

Is all that is said to be the Bible really the Scriptures ? Is a paraphrase a Bible ? There are books like "the Way" that people call Bibles. Did the Holy Spirit guide Wescott and Hort to leave out verses and partial verses in the RC manuscripts which led to the NIV translation. If the Holy Spirit did not impress them to do this what spirit did ? Either they were led by the Holy Spirit or they were led by an evil spirit.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 09:53:27 PM »
Amen, cp. Many are led astray by "bibles" that were translated by those who know not the truth.

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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 05:58:14 AM »
Monday January 2

The Holy Spirit and Inspiration


Inspiration is the term used to describe God's influence through the work of the Holy Spirit in transmitting His message through human instruments. The work of the Holy Spirit in the process of inspiration is the reason we find a fundamental unity in all of Scripture in regard to truth. As the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13), the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.

Read

2 Peter 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost. 

Deuteronomy 18:18  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 

Micah 3:8  But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 

 1 Corinthians
 2:9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 
 2:10   But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 
 2:11   For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 
 2:12   Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 
 2:13   Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 


What do these texts tell us about the biblical writers and about God's involvement in the origin of the Bible?

Biblical writers were holy and received truth from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God.


Being "moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 1:21) is a strong affirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiration. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, the apostle Paul credits revelation and inspiration to the Holy Spirit. To us, he says, God revealed the hidden things that no eye has seen, which he mentions in verse 9. God revealed them through the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10). The apostles have received this "Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." 1 Cor. 2:12. Then in verse 13 he moves to the work of inspiration, where he speaks of things "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Paul had no doubt about the source and the authority of what he was proclaiming.

While many parts of the Bible are a result of God's direct supernatural revelation, not everything in the Bible was revealed in that manner. Sometimes God used biblical writers in their careful personal investigation of things or in their use of other existing documents (Josh. 10:13, Luke 1:1-3) to reveal and communicate His message. Thus all parts of the Bible are revealed and inspired (2 Tim. 3:16). This is the reason Paul states that "whatever" was written, was written for our instruction, so that we through "patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Rom. 15:4. The God who speaks and who created human language enables chosen people to communicate in human words the inspired thoughts in a trustworthy and reliable manner.

"God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do His work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven." - Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 26.

Amen! We had and example of the Spirit moving upon a man so that he was "constrained" to speak the truth entrusted to him. "For I am full of matter, the Spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away." Job 32:18-22.
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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 05:09:07 PM »
The work of the Holy Spirit upon Elihu in leading him to utter the truths he did to call Job to repentance are an interesting example in the Bible of how God comes upon men--not to give them a message of their own choosing (it is not really a popular or easy thing to reprove those who feel that they are righteous in their own eyes), but because the message is from God. When we are filled with the Spirit of God, His character is reproduced in us, and we will speak of the loveliness of Jesus and exalt His righteousness. We need to more fully appreciate the office and work of the Holy Spirit, for He is the Person of the Godhead who leads us to repentance. Praise the Lord that when we have accepted that great gift by an entire surrender, there will be fruit! The fruit of a truly converted soul is that all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives--not one will be missing! Praise the Lord!
"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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 09:39:25 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  At church last Sabbath, as we completed the last lesson on Job, we read from the lesson something so very wrong, but many believed it.


With Friends Like These . . .

All through the book of Job, the three (and then four) men who came to speak to Job did so with good motives. They had heard what had happened to him, and they came “to mourn with him and to comfort him” (Job 2:11). However, after Job first started speaking, bemoaning the tragedies that befell him, they apparently felt it was more important for them to put Job in his place and set his theology straight than it was to encourage and uplift the spirits of their suffering friend. Time after time, they got it all wrong. But suppose they had got it all right? Suppose all these things came upon Job because he had deserved them? They might have been theologically correct, but so what? Did Job need correct theology? Or did he need something else entirely?


Instead of accepting the wisdom of man that comes from a broken impure cistern, why not study what God said to Job if we want to know how best to deal with Job's sin? Apparently some think God was wrong when He reproved Job.

40:1   Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, 
 40:2   Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. 
 40:3   Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 
 40:4   Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 
 40:5   Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. 
 40:6   Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 
 40:7   Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 
 40:8   Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? 
 40:9   Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
 

This was not the answer given in the Sabbath School lesson. How wrong to condemn Elihu, the fourth friend who reproved Job as did God. That is not the instruction received in the lessons. Was Elihu treated with love and sympathy? Or was he attacked for being arrogant and unloving....when he was sent by God....to do the very same thing God did?

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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2017, 08:13:24 AM »
Tuesday January 3

The Holy Spirit and the Truthfulness of Scripture


While revelation is the supernatural act by which God reveals truth to chosen human beings, inspiration is the activity of the Holy Spirit that safeguards the truthfulness of what the human authors wrote, so that their words have the full approval of God. God hates false witness (Exod. 20:16) and cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). He is called a God of truth (Ps. 31:5, Isa. 65:16). In a similar manner, the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17).

Amen!  God reproved Job for "darkening" the truth. The man whom God had so greatly blessed had lost his hold on God and spoke things not true. "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me." Job 38:1-3. Moses was laid to rest because in his life he misrepresented God's truth he had been teaching.


Read Psalm 119:160.

Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever. 


What does this teach about anything God reveals to us?

Not sure that we would equate what God reveals to us as His Word.


Read John 17:17.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 


What does Jesus say to us here about God's Word?

We need to read 17:18 in order to see the truth as to what Jesus means in 17:17.
"For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me."

The Word of God is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. It is not our task to sit in judgment over Scripture; Scripture, rather, has the right and the authority to judge us. "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb. 4:12.

Amen!!!


Though, of course, the Bible was written by those living in specific times and places and cultures (how could it have been otherwise?), we should not use that fact to water down or dismiss the message of the Bible to us. Once that door is opened, the Bible becomes subject to humans and to their determination of what is truth. The result is that many people, while claiming to believe the Bible, reject such things as a six-day creation, a worldwide flood, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the literal Second Coming. These are just a few of many biblical truths that fallible people, sitting in judgment on the Scriptures, have thrown out. That's not a path any of us should ever take. Why is it so crucial to submit our own judgment to the Word of God rather than vice versa?

Our judgment is not perfect as is God's Word. We are erring mortals, God's Word is inspired truth. When we believe a lie, we are working against the truth. When it comes to the gospel, God has a truth that is being ignored in His church.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8,9.

None will disagree that we have multiple false gospels being preached from our pulpits and published on our presses, yet nothing it said by church leadership. Why? Is what is being taught in today's lesson not important? Will we continue to not submit to Bible truth?

And, what is wrong with not submitting to Bible truth? Where is the unity in the church when the Word of God is not our standard? Can two walk together when they are not agreed? What happens when one's culture takes precedence over the Word of God? We see that in the rebellion against the church by those in the NAD and Europe in making women rulers over men, going directly against God's Word in both the Old and the New Testament. 

Paul not only makes a doctrinal statement about women not ruling over men, but he tells us why it is so.
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." 1 Tim. 2:12-15.

Paul was not using human wisdom, but he was inspired to write what he did. And, he made reference to Bible truth found in the Old Testament. "3:16   Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16. While this verse is misused by men, it is Bible truth that reveals women are not to rule over men. And, the Bible reveals why this is so. Read in context and go to Paul to see the whole truth. Notice there were two curses resting upon women in both the Old and New Testament passages. And, yes curses rested upon men also. Of course the role of women has been perverted by those in rebellion, because culture takes precedence over the Word 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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2017, 03:01:45 PM »
Wednesday January 4

The Holy Spirit as Teacher


The Holy Spirit is instrumental not only in giving us the Written Word of God but also in helping us understand it properly. Human beings are darkened in their understanding of truth; they are, by nature, alienated from God (Eph. 4:18). That's why the same Spirit, who revealed and inspired the Word of God, is the One who enables us to understand it. The problem is not that the Bible is an obscure book. The problem is our sin-tainted attitude toward God, who reveals Himself in the Bible.

Amen! That can be changed when we ourselves submit our whole being to God. Then the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the heart and mind. This is what it means to be converted, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As Jesus puts it, to be born again of the Spirit. We pray this quarter's lessons will teach that when we are converted, we are then empowered to obey the higher powers of the mind. We become partakers of God's nature and manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit.


The Holy Spirit is a Teacher who desires to lead us into a deeper understanding of Scripture and to a joyful appreciation of the Bible. He brings the truth of God's Word to our attention and gives us fresh insights into those truths so that our lives can be characterized by faithfulness and a loving obedience to God's will. This can happen, though, only if we approach the Bible with a humble and teachable heart.

Amen, desiring to know and do His will!


Read
1 Corinthians

 2:13   Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 
 2:14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 

What does the apostle Paul write about our need to interpret spiritual things spiritually?

In our understanding of the Bible, we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, the spiritual significance of the biblical words is not discerned, only its linguistic meaning. Furthermore, as sinful human beings we often are opposed to God's truth, not because we do not understand it but because we would prefer not to follow it. Without the Holy Spirit there is no affection for God's message. There is no hope, no trust, and no love in response. What the Spirit brings to life is in harmony with the truth already proclaimed in the Bible.

Amen!   It is the Spirit that opens our minds to the truth. He is the One who "will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:8. We do not have to be converted to  be convicted of sin.

"Many contradictory opinions in regard to what the Bible teaches do not arise from any obscurity in the book itself, but from blindness and prejudice on the part of interpreters. Men ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own perverted reason. - Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Jan. 27, 1885. How has your pride been a stumbling stone that has hindered you from implementing the truth of Scripture in your life? In what areas do your own desires keep you from accepting God's truth in your life? How can you learn to surrender everything to God?

The answer is found in Scripture. We need to be very careful in listening to the wisdom of man for our answer. Man is saved by grace. It is grace that saves. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8.  That means it is grace that brings one to a full surrender.

What must we do in order to be saved by grace through faith? Share from Scripture what is that we have to do in order to be saved (surrendered, converted, die to self).

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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 04:19:57 PM »
Thursday January 5

The Holy Spirit and the Word

The Holy Spirit, who has revealed and inspired the content of the Bible to human beings, will never lead us contrary to God's Word in any way.

Read

 John
 5:39   Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 
 5:46   For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 
 5:47   But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? 
 7:38   He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.   


What authority does Jesus refer to in these texts? How does the Bible confirm that Jesus is the Messiah?

The Word testifies that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Moses has authority and thus his writings in the Bible point to Jesus as the Messiah.


Some people claim to have received special "revelations" and instructions from the Holy Spirit that go against the clear message of the Bible. For them the Holy Spirit has attained a higher authority than God's Word. Whenever the inspired and Written Word of God is nullified and its clear message is evaded, we walk on dangerous ground and do not follow the leading of God's Spirit. The Bible only is our spiritual safeguard. It alone is a reliable norm for all matters of faith and practice.

"Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself." - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671.

Ellen G. White has made it abundantly clear that "the Spirit was not given-nor can it ever be bestowed-to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested." - Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 9.

The Holy Spirit is never given to replace the Word of God. He rather works in harmony with and through the Bible to draw us to Christ, thus making the Bible the only norm for authentic biblical spirituality. We can be sure that when someone comes making claims that are in contradiction to the Word of God, that person is not speaking the truth. We can't judge hearts or motives. We can, though, judge theology, and the only standard we have to judge it is the Word of God.

What are some of the teachings that people are trying to promote in the church that are clearly contrary to the Word of God?

That could be a very long list. Let me begin by sharing two I have already pointed to.

1. false gospels
2. the making of women to be rulers over men

Share with our readers some more doctrines that are being taught that are contrary to the Bible.


What should our response be to (1) the people promoting these errors; (2) the errors themselves?

We need to labor lovingly and patiently with those with whom we disagree. And, since we are erring mortals, we must be teachable. We must listen carefully to those who we labor with.

The errors themselves are deadly. They mislead souls for whom Christ died.


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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 04:20:53 PM »
Friday January 6

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, "The Scriptures a Safeguard" pp. 593-602. Read also Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, "Let Not Your Heart be Troubled," pp. 662-680.

Think about all the truth that we know only because it has been revealed to us in the Bible. Think, for instance, about creation. What a contrast between what the Word of God teaches about how we were created and how humanity teaches we were created-that is, through the process of what is now called "the neo-Darwinian synthesis." Look at how wrong humans have it! Think, too, about the Second Coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead at the end of the age. These are truths that we could never learn on our own. They have to be revealed to us; and they are, in the Word of God, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the most important truth of all, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that we are saved through faith in Him and His works for us, is a truth that we could have never figured out on our own. We know it only because it has been revealed to us. Think about other truths that we know only because they have been told to us through the Word of God. What should the fact that such crucial truths are found only in the Bible tell us about how central the Word of God needs to be in our lives?

While all are without excuse, even if they have no Bible, it is surely better that we know God through the Word. It gives us a much better understanding of who God is and who we are.


Discussion Questions:


    Why is the Bible a safer guide in spiritual questions than are subjective impressions?

Where do "subjective impressions" come from? How do we know which Spirit they came from? "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.

What are the consequences when we do not accept the Bible as the standard by which we test all teachings and even our spiritual experiences?

Like Eve not believing God, we are led away from God and His truth to perdition.


    We often hear the word "truth" used in a variety of contexts. In class, talk about the concept of "truth," not just what is true or what is not true but about what it means when we say that something is "true." What does it mean for something to be "true"?

It is not a lie. There are truths and there are lies. If we do not know the truth, then we are susceptible to Satan's lies. "We must be Bible readers, and obedient to the Scriptures. . . . The inquiry should rise from every heart, What is truth? If we would stand against the deceptive teaching that now meets us on every side, that is turning the truth of God into a lie, we must have the heavenly anointing."  Manuscript 100, 1893.

    How should your church react if someone claims to have "new light"?

New light will come, so we would be in danger if we automatically reject it because so much that is said to be new light is not. We must test the "new light" to see if it is in harmony with Scripture. The Bible is the test.

    Flesh out the radical difference between how the Bible teaches we were created and what human wisdom teaches. What human wisdom teaches, that is, the latest understanding of evolutionary theory, is completely contrary to the Bible message. What should that tell us about why we must trust the Bible above everything else?

When we see who it is that is teaching and believes such foolishness, it surely ought to make us shudder. And, the leaders of schools of so called "higher education" which once were Christian seminaries teach for truth Satan's lies. Such deception. Presidents, kings, prophets, priests, pastors, doctors, and little children believe they came from monkeys. We ought to be thankful for our Bibles and the grace God has given that we might have Spiritual discernment!
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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 04:57:03 PM »

as we read the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we see the direct activity and work of God the Father. His actions are everywhere. In the New Testament, especially the Gospels, we read again and again about the work and activity of Jesus, the Son. Jesus-His life, death, and ministry in heaven- dominates the New Testament.

Hmm . . . . , I doubt that it was intentional, but this is somewhat misleading, since we know that Jesus was quite active in the OT.  It was he who led them out of Egypt:  all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;  and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  and did all eat the same spiritual meat;  and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.   I Cor. 10:1-4.  And when God appeared to Abraham prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was Jesus who accompanied the 2 angels.  PP 139.  I believe it was also Jesus who wrestled with Jacob the night before he was confronted by Esau.
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

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2017, 05:15:41 AM »
Wally, it is probably just  a matter of carelessness. You found this. Editors are paid to pick these things up and make things clear rather than muddle things. This is not first time error has been presented even though it is by implication. How hard would it have been to say "the Father worked in the OT through Jesus ?"  All they had to do was add 2 words. They should be going through these lessons with a fine toothed comb as though they would be taken to trial over it. There is no excuse for leaving wrong impressions. They left Jesus out of the OT. That is not insignificant. Jesus dominated the OT as well howbeit not as a man.

That Jesus was not the active agent in the OT is what the churches of babylon believe and they use this to try to pawn off that Jesus came in the NT to do away with the law. I never underestimate the enemy's ability to slip in error. Another thing I see happening is that so many of our people are reading chaff from babylon and less and less SOP that seeds are being unwittingly planted and they no it not.


It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2017, 08:15:40 AM »
It is a very pointed statement, Wally. It does lead away from the work of Christ prior to His incarnation. Jesus was the connection between heaven and Earth. I am sure there is much we do not understand in this area. And, yes, cp, editors ought to pick up on these things, but if they do not see, then they cannot correct.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2017, 03:32:08 PM »
  ", we see the direct activity and work of God the Father." Missing something here. This appears like a contrast. What really is the point here?  If it was that Jesus had not yet come in the flesh why not just say that adding that the Father worked through Jesus ?

This is the type of error we see so often. It is close enough to the truth to give a person a sanctuary to run to for protection but it opens a door to misleading error. It depends on just how the comment is taken. The way the comment naturally leads though is to the idea that Jesus was no where around in the OT.  Pathways heading down that road ought not be left open. We have a lot of words  and we can make our thoughts crystal clear especially in areas as simple as this on. Some would say, that as SDAs we all know better. Do we ALL know better ?
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2017, 04:03:25 PM »

Apparently, this introduction in question is not in the actual lesson quarterly. What's up with that? Is the computer the mode of change where the progressives in the church will be more open ?
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 10:41:46 AM »
  ", we see the direct activity and work of God the Father." Missing something here. This appears like a contrast. What really is the point here?  If it was that Jesus had not yet come in the flesh why not just say that adding that the Father worked through Jesus ?

This is the type of error we see so often. It is close enough to the truth to give a person a sanctuary to run to for protection but it opens a door to misleading error. It depends on just how the comment is taken. The way the comment naturally leads though is to the idea that Jesus was no where around in the OT.  Pathways heading down that road ought not be left open. We have a lot of words  and we can make our thoughts crystal clear especially in areas as simple as this on. Some would say, that as SDAs we all know better. Do we ALL know better ?

Speaking of sanctuary, who was it that was in the tabernacle in the wilderness, Jesus or the Father? "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."    Who was in the burning bush?   The great "I Am". "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Exodus 3:14.       
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 1--1st Quarter 2017--The Spirit and the Word
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 04:30:33 PM »
Friday January 6

What are the consequences when we do not accept the Bible as the standard by which we test all teachings and even our spiritual experiences?

Like Eve not believing God, we are led away from God and His truth to perdition.


Eve really believed the words of Satan--but that did not make them true. Sincerity is not in itself a test of truth--we need the word of God in order to be kept from Satan's subtle delusions. Only when we have Christ abiding in our hearts, through a living-faith surrender to Him moment-by-moment, are we really safe from wresting the Scriptures. There are many who claim to believe the Bible, and may even be able to quote it word for word, but if they are not entirely surrendered to Christ, they betray the very spirit of the gospel. The gospel is the most significant truth that can be wrested in Scripture, and it is wrested when we attempt to teach or preach about Someone (Jesus Christ) when we have not His Spirit. Without His Spirit, we are "none of His" (Romans 8:9). The gospel reveals the power of God's grace to transform the sinner who beholds the loveliness of Jesus to become a new creature, a repentant, adopted child of God who is made a partaker of the divine nature. Such a transformation is the very focal point of Scripture. This is why Bible biographies are so important for us when we read the Bible. The Bible reveals Jesus at work to transform people from being weak, sinful, and vacillating (Abraham is an excellent example) to coming to such a complete surrender that he was even willing to offer up his son upon the altar. Abraham and David, Moses and Job, Daniel and Enoch--oh, there are so many from which we can learn precious lessons of our CONTINUAL NEED OF JESUS--and that need is supplied by the Holy Spirit!

It is worth posting here from the suggested reading in Desire of Ages (chapter 73) some of the most phenomenal promises that relate to the gospel. The fact that our lesson recommends we read that entire chapter is a great blessing. Here are some salient statements you may wish to share with your Sabbath School class this week and joyfully mediate upon:

All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us. {DA 668.3}

At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. {DA 669.4}

"I am the Vine, ye are the branches," Christ said to His disciples. Though He was about to be removed from them, their spiritual union with Him was to be unchanged. The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ's strength, his emptiness to Christ's fullness, his frailty to Christ's enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved. {DA 675.3}

This union with Christ, once formed, must be maintained. Christ said, "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." This is no casual touch, no off-and-on connection. The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant. Separated from the vine, the branch cannot live. No more, said Jesus, can you live apart from Me. The life you have received from Me can be preserved only by continual communion. Without Me you cannot overcome one sin, or resist one temptation. {DA 676.1}


The life of the vine will be manifest in fragrant fruit on the branches. "He that abideth in Me," said Jesus, "and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." 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. {DA 676.4}
"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}