Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise  (Read 780 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 10 December 2-8






Children of the Promise













Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon





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 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 01:57:32 PM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Romans 9.

Memory Text: “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.” Romans 9:18

Is it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. . . . For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy . . . , and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:13, 15).

What is Paul talking about here? What about human free will and the freedom to choose, without which very little of what we believe makes sense? Are we not free to choose or reject God? Or are these verses teaching that certain people are elected to be saved and others to be lost, regardless of their own personal choices?

No, not at all. We know God gives us free will. But, do you look to the arm of flesh for your interpretation of Scripture? Do you believe past teachers in Protestantism is sufficient for your beliefs? Or do you go to inspiration to learn the truth? Well, then do you accept modern day teachers interpretation without question?


The answer is found, as usual, by looking at the bigger picture of what Paul is saying. Paul is following a line of argument in which he attempts to show God’s right to pick those whom He will use as His “elected” ones. After all, God is the One who carries the ultimate responsibility of evangelizing the world. Therefore, why can He not choose as His agents whomever He wills? So long as God cuts off no one from the opportunity of salvation, such an action on God’s part is not contrary to the principles of free will. Even more important, it’s not contrary to the great truth that Christ died for all humans, and His desire was that everyone have salvation.

As long as we remember that Romans 9 is not dealing with the personal salvation of those it names, but that it is dealing with their call to do a certain work, the chapter presents no difficulties.

Let's hear the explanation as we study this week's lesson.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 9.

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

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 06:56:33 AM »
Quote
Sunday December 3

God needed a missionary people to evangelize a world steeped in paganism, darkness, and idolatry.


What is Christianity? God's instrumentality for the conversion of the sinner. Jesus will call to account everyone who is not brought under His control, who does not demonstrate in his life the influence of the cross of Calvary. Christ should be uplifted by those whom He has redeemed by dying on the cross a death of shame. He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. He seeks to put in operation methods of work which will diffuse the gospel of Christ. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart (Manuscript 56, 1899). Lift Him Up Lift Him Up 230.5

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Through the only begotten Son of God, life and immortality are brought to light. Through him are poured the streams of salvation. Through him comes the power by which the character may be reshaped, and the soul renewed to bear the moral image of God. When souls are converted to God, they become mediums through which a vital current may be communicated for the transformation of the character of many others. Recovered themselves from Satan's power, they know how to work. Human nature becomes united with the divine nature, Christ lives in the human soul, and acts through all the powers of body, soul, and spirit. From the converted soul, light shines forth to those who are perishing. Those who have been in sin, and have experienced the love of Christ, know how to sympathize, how to adapt themselves to those who are in sin and sorrow, and can exercise the love of Christ through the channel of human affection. Thus a current of blessedness and joy flows through the human channel that is consecrated to the service of God. What a stream of thanksgiving and joy flows back to God through human channels. What vast numbers might unite in becoming active members of the army of the Lord in place of living a life of selfishness and self-pleasing, that at last proves itself to be not life but the veriest mockery. But when life is enriched with the life of Christ, when its impulses are quickened by the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, then the loftiest purposes are carried out, the noblest work is done, in the name of Christ. Through his own transforming grace, Christ is multiplied in the lives of those who are restored to his image. They co-operate with Christ in offering the divine gift... The Review and Herald November 12, 1895 paragraph 7

Wherever there is union with Christ there is love. Whatever other fruits we may bear, if love be missing, they profit nothing. Love to God and our neighbor is the very essence of our religion. No one can love Christ and not love His children. When we are united to Christ, we have the mind of Christ. Purity and love shine forth in the character, meekness and truth control the life. The very expression of the countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power, and the outward aspect bears witness to the peace and joy that reign within. We drink in the love of Christ, as the branch draws nourishment from the vine. If we are grafted in Christ, if fiber by fiber we have been united with the Living Vine, we shall give evidence of the fact by bearing rich clusters of living fruit. If we are connected with the Light, we shall be channels of light, and in our words and works we shall reflect light to the world. Those who are truly Christians are bound with the chain of love which links earth to heaven, which binds finite man to the infinite God. The light that shines in the face of Jesus Christ shines in the hearts of His followers, to the glory of God.

By beholding we are to become changed; and as we meditate upon the perfections of the divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed, and renewed in the image of His purity. It is by faith in the Son of God that transformation takes place in the character, and the child of wrath becomes the child of God. He passes from death unto life; he becomes spiritual and discerns spiritual things. The wisdom of God enlightens his mind, and he beholds wondrous things out of His law. As a man is converted by the truth, the work of transformation of character goes on. He has an increased measure of understanding. In becoming a man of obedience to God, he has the mind of Christ, and the will of God becomes his will. Selected Messages Book 1 p. 337

Consecrate yourselves wholly to the work of God. He is your strength, and He will be at your right hand, helping you to carry on His merciful designs.—Testimonies for the Church 9:41.

The heavenly intelligences will work with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of character which will reach out to perfection in action. To every one engaged in this work Christ says, I am at your right hand to help you.—Christ's Object Lessons, 332.

As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command, may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.—Christ's Object Lessons, 333.

 “All ye are brethren.” As brethren we are identified with Christ and with one another. As brethren we are identical with Christ, and through His grace identical with one another. And as we wash the feet of Christ's followers, it is as though we were indeed touching the Son of God. We do this act because Christ told us to do it, and Christ Himself is among us. His Holy Spirit does the work of uniting our hearts. To become one with Christ requires self-denial and self-sacrifice at every step. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), p. 1139.3 (Ellen G. White)

Only let me know that I am doing the will of my heavenly Father and I am content. I feel that I would not shrink from any hardship or difficulty if it is for Jesus’ sake. I want to understand more clearly the ways of God and the glorious plan of redemption, the extent and limitation of our accountability and the weighty truths of the Word of God. I feel my own nothingness and that Jesus is all and in all. Lt 29, 1880 (May 22, 1880) par. 15
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 09:29:27 PM »
Amen, Glen. In order to be a missionary for Christ, we must be a converted Christian. We cannot give to others what we do not have. We must be truly surrendered (converted). Then we have Christ indwelling the heart.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 09:30:54 PM »
Sunday December 3

Paul’s Burden


“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exod. 19:6)
.

God needed a missionary people to evangelize a world steeped in paganism, darkness, and idolatry. He chose the Israelites and revealed Himself to them. He planned that they become a model nation and thus attract others to the true God. It was God’s purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel the world should be drawn unto Him. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. As the numbers of Israel increased, as their blessings grew, they were to enlarge their borders until their kingdom should embrace the world.

Read Romans 9:1-12.

9:1   I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 
 9:2   That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 
 9:3   For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 
 9:4   Who are Israelites; to whom [pertaineth] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of God], and the promises; 
 9:5   Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 
 9:6   Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel: 
 9:7   Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 
 9:8   That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 
 9:9   For this [is] the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 
 9:10   And not only [this]; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, [even] by our father Isaac; 
 9:11   (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 
 9:12   It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 


What point is Paul making here about the faithfulness of God amid human failures?

Paul is building a line of argument in which he will show that the promise made to Israel had not completely failed. There exists a remnant through whom God still aims to work. To establish the validity of the idea of the remnant, Paul dips back into Israelite history. He shows that God has always been selective: (1) God did not choose all the seed of Abraham to be His covenant, only the line of Isaac. (2) He did not choose all of the descendants of Isaac, only those of Jacob.

It’s important, too, to see that heritage, or ancestry, does not guarantee salvation. You can be of the right blood, the right family, even of the right church, and yet still be lost, still be outside the promise. It is faith, a faith that works by love, that reveals those who are “children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8 ).

Look at the phrase in Romans 9:6: “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” What important message can we find there for ourselves, as Adventists, who in many ways play the same roles in our era that the ancient Israelites did in theirs?

Yes, the pattern appears to be the same. A blind apostate people who went from one apostasy to another. God would send a deliverer and they would return to God for a time, then go into deeper apostasy until they finally put to death the Son of God. So it is with the last of the seven churches. Jesus speaks to us as being in the same spiritual condition as was Israel. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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." Rev. 3:19,20. We like the Jews think we are rich, but know not that we are wretched, miserable, poor,and naked, and blind. Like Nicodemus we think we are just fine the way we are when in fact we are in a lost state as a people.

How can a people who do not know Jesus or the gospel take the gospel to the world? It cannot. There are converted Christians in the church, so there are missionaries today. But, there are not enough to evangelize the world. We need a converted people. We need revival and reformation in the church. It begins with understanding what it means to be a converted Christian. May God help us to give the whole heart to Christ.




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

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 06:42:37 AM »
There are converted Christians in the church, so there are missionaries today. But, there are not enough to evangelize the world. We need a converted people.

While it is ONLY the converted professor of Truth that is able to touch the heart of unbelievers, we must never forget that the majority of Gideon's Army were turned away from the conflict as unqualified. We cannot trust in numbers to finish "the work". Very soon, the focus of the world will be on Seventh-day Adventists. The 144,000, for instance, out of the vast numbers of those in the world now professing to be SDA's, reflect Gideon's "Special Forces" more succinctly.

There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness. Those who are accounted good workers will need to draw nigh to God, they will need the divine touch. They will need to drink more deeply and continuously at the fountain of living water, in order that they may discern God's work at every point. Workers may make mistakes, but you should give them a chance to correct their errors, give them an opportunity to learn caution, by leaving the work in their hands.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 300

Man can do nothing of himself. He cannot advance or retard the work. The work must be done through the power of the Spirit of God. The Spirit’s grace is imparted to the church to be given to the world. Zerubbabel could not understand this mystery, and as a little child he confessed his ignorance. He longed to understand, and he placed himself where he could understand. Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.”  Ms 20, 1899 (March 8, 1899) par. 21

The work is the Lord’s, and man must be His faithful instrument. If he will cease to look at appearances, and trust in the living God, he will have all the help he needs. He is to go forward in faith. Man’s weakness is no obstacle in this work, for God can perfect his strength out of weakness. He can save by many or by few.
 Ms 20, 1899 (March 8, 1899) par. 22

This is a representation of the work of the truth. Zerubbabel is represented as the chief authority in directing the work. Man is to do his appointed work, but he must move forward in faith; for a lack of faith will leave his work incomplete. Mountains of difficulties will be removed, and the work will be completed, but it must be acknowledged as wholly of grace. We are living amid the perils of the last days. That period of time is no longer in the future; it is right upon us. There is need of men who will not fail nor be discouraged. There must be no negligence now. Every attention must be given to the spiritual necessities of men and women, lest the day of God shall overtake them as a thief. We must be diligent in using the talents entrusted to us, that we may give back to God His own with usury. All are to be workers. On every soul rests the most solemn responsibility to use his opportunities and privileges for the glory of God. Ms 20, 1899 (March 8, 1899) par. 23

We are altogether too faithless, and too narrow in our views. Gideon's army prevailed, not because of their numbers, but because in living faith they followed the special directions of God. If we make narrow plans, we shall see very little accomplished. Many efforts, though made at great expense, have been in a large measure unsuccessful because they did not meet the wants of the time or the place. For years we have sought to impress upon our people the necessity of working more intelligently. God would have us realize constantly that those around us are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and that it depends very much upon our deportment and manner of labor whether these souls are saved or lost. It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves friendly and sociable, and do not act as though they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will. Our laborers should be very careful not to give the impression that they are wolves stealing in to get the sheep, but should let the ministers understand their position and the object of their mission,—to call the attention of the people to the precious truths of God's Word. There are many of these which are dear to all Christians. There is common ground, upon which we can meet people of all denominations; and in becoming acquainted with them, we should dwell mostly upon topics in which all feel an interest, and which will not lead directly and pointedly to the subjects of disagreement.  Pacific Union Recorder June 22, 1905 paragraph 2

God's workmen must have breadth of character. They must not be men of one idea, stereotyped in their manner of working. They must be able to vary their efforts, to meet the needs of the people under different circumstances and conditions. God would have His servants, old and young, continually improving, learning better how to minister to the wants of all. Pacific Union Recorder June 22, 1905 paragraph 3


...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 07:14:13 AM »
Let us glorify God that we have a Saviour to make intercession for us, to speak in our behalf before the Father, and present His merit as a propitiation for our sins. Let us glorify God that although we are defective He honors us by permitting us to advocate truth and to maintain His cause. But although we make many mistakes in that which we do, although we fail of doing it in the best way, although we neglect and leave many things undone because self is not surrendered to God, although we are creatures full of vanity and selfishness and self-esteem (and all this God despises), yet notwithstanding our many imperfections He continues to teach us, and commissions us to act a part in His cause. Manuscript Releases, vol. 13 [Nos. 1000-1080], Page 279

It is when the soldier goes forth to battle that the true mettle of the character is revealed; and if found wanting may yet, while there is still life, be developed and honed for Service, in wielding, thus yielding that life on the Battlefield for the honor and to the glory of God, for the greater victory and its reward.
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

ejclark

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 11:57:37 AM »
Sunday December 3

Paul’s Burden


“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exod. 19:6)
.

God needed a missionary people to evangelize a world steeped in paganism, darkness, and idolatry.
I find it interesting that the author begins with a verse that has absolutely nothing to do with evangelism. Yet many today use Exod. 19:6 for that very purpose in teaching and supporting W/O.

In this case I ask the question......"What is the main role of the priest....evangelism, or something else?"

Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
Romans 12:1,2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Being a witness for God is a part of our walk with Him. But what makes us a priest in God's eyes is when we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice for the purpose of giving God access to the carnal, old man and letting Him burn and turn to ashes that carnal nature inside that gets in the way of giving Him our complete will. That is what is meant by being a member of the Royal Priesthood.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 05:55:27 PM »
Amen, ej. If we want to be a part of the "royal priesthood of all believers", then we need to be converted (fully surrendered). Self must die and Christ must reign in the heart. If we hold part of the heart back, then we are not His. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to give glory to God. He does not give up on us when we sin, but neither is He in the heart. He stands at the door of the heart, calling the unrepentant sinner back to Himself.

There is no spiritual understanding in those who misuse the verse to allow for the ordination of women and stand against the world church's decision to not ordain women to be rulers over men.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 06:00:05 PM »
There are converted Christians in the church, so there are missionaries today. But, there are not enough to evangelize the world. We need a converted people.

While it is ONLY the converted professor of Truth that is able to touch the heart of unbelievers, we must never forget that the majority of Gideon's Army were turned away from the conflict as unqualified...

When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves friendly and sociable, and do not act as though they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will. Our laborers should be very careful not to give the impression that they are wolves stealing in to get the sheep, but should let the ministers understand their position and the object of their mission,—to call the attention of the people to the precious truths of God's Word. There are many of these which are dear to all Christians. There is common ground, upon which we can meet people of all denominations; and in becoming acquainted with them, we should dwell mostly upon topics in which all feel an interest, and which will not lead directly and pointedly to the subjects of disagreement.  Pacific Union Recorder June 22, 1905 paragraph 2

Amen, Glen.  This is an interesting quote that reveals how we are to minister to pastors and those of other faiths. We do not present the objectionable points of our faith up front.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 09:26:30 PM »
Monday December 4

Elected

“It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:12, 13).


As stated in the introduction for this week, it is impossible to understand Romans 9 properly until one recognizes that Paul is not speaking of individual salvation. He is here speaking of particular roles that God was calling upon certain individuals to play. God wanted Jacob to be the progenitor of the people who would be His special evangelizing agency in the world. There is no implication in this passage that Esau could not be saved. God wanted him to be saved as much as He desires all men to be saved.

That is true that in this passage is no indication that Esau could not have been saved. But, the lesson offers no Scripture to reveal what has been written in the lesson for Monday or in the introduction. It is a man's suggestion that when God said He hated Esau, it was to say he was only talking about roles, not feelings. Why did God hate Esau? It seems we need Biblical support to teach on this subject. While we agree that all, at least almost all, have opportunity to be saved, all will not be saved.

Let me ask a question of those who are trusting in man. Can God know the future state of a man? Did God know Judas would be lost? Then it has nothing to do with the fact God did not ordain Esau to be lost. But, God could indeed know Esau to be an unrepentant sinner who would not repent of his sins even though God had made provision for him to be saved if he would accept the sacrifice to be made for him, the suffering and death of God's dear Son.


Read Romans 9:14, 15.

9:14   What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 
 9:15   For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 


How do we understand these words in the context of what we have been reading?

Again Paul is not speaking of individual salvation, because in that area God extends mercy to all, for He “will have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4). “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). But God can choose nations to play roles, and although they can refuse to play those roles, they cannot prevent God’s choice. No matter how hard Esau may have willed it, he could not have become the progenitor of the Messiah nor of the chosen people.

It is true that we decide our fate, God does not cut off any arbitrarily. But, God does offer mercy to whom He decides to offer, and when He knows it is best. God sacrificed His Son that we might live. It is our decisions that will determine our future. But, to say Paul is not including spiritual lessons in this chapter is not correct. It is not just roles, but also salvation that is the subject. We do not believe in pre-destination, but there are other truths being revealed that we must not neglect.

Verse 9:8 is an example whereby we understand that our behavior reveals our status before God. It is grace that won the heart, but it is the fruit of the Spirit seen in the life that reveals the heart is fully given to Christ. Those who walk in the flesh do not have eternal life. They are condemned until they repent a repentance not to be repented of. "That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." 9:8. 


In the end, it was no arbitrary choice on the part of God, not some divine decree, by which Esau was shut out from salvation. The gifts of His grace through Christ are free to all. We’ve all been elected to be saved, not lost (Eph. 1:4, 5; 2 Pet. 1:10). It’s our own choices, not God’s, that keep us from the promise of eternal life in Christ. Jesus died for every human being. Yet, God has set forth in His Word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life - faith in Christ, which leads the justified sinner to obedience.

As if no one else even existed, you, yourself, were chosen in Christ even before the foundation of the world, to have salvation. This is your calling, your election, all given to you by God through Jesus. What a privilege, what a hope! All things considered, why does everything else pale in comparison to this great promise? Why would it be the greatest of all tragedies to let sin, self, and the flesh take away from you all that’s been promised you in Jesus?

"Elected." What does it mean? Who are the "elect of God"? We are reminded that "if possible, even the elect will be deceived." They will not because the elect are not looking to man, but to God. There is a difference between being born, or even being born into God's church, and those who are truly converted and walking in the Spirit.

Another question upon which we had some conversation was in regard to the elect of God—that the Lord would have a certain number, and when that number was made up then probation would cease. These are questions you or I have no right to talk about. The Lord Jesus will receive all who come unto Him. He died for the ungodly and every man who will come, may come.

Certain conditions are to be complied with on the part of man, and if he refuses to comply with the conditions, he cannot become the elect of God. If he will comply, he is a child of God, and Christ says if he will continue in faithfulness, steadfast and immovable in his obedience, he will not blot out his name out of the book of life but will confess his name before his Father and before his angels. God would have us think and talk and present to others those truths which are plainly revealed, and all have naught to do with these subjects of speculation, for they have no special reference to the salvation of our souls.—Manuscript 26, 1885.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 09:51:06 PM »
Tuesday December 5

Mysteries

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9).

Read Romans 9:17-24.

 9:17   For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 
 9:18   Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth. 
 9:19   Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 
 9:20   Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? 
 9:21   Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 
 9:22   [What] if God, willing to show [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 
 9:23   And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 
 9:24   Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 


Given what we have read so far, how are we to understand Paul’s point here?

By dealing with Egypt at the time of the Exodus in the manner He did, God was working for the salvation of the human race. God’s revelation of Himself in the plagues of Egypt and in the deliverance of His people was designed to reveal to the Egyptians, as well as to other nations, that the God of Israel indeed was the true God. It was designed to be an invitation for the peoples of the nations to abandon their gods and to come and worship Him.

Obviously Pharaoh had already made his choice against God, so that in hardening his heart, God was not cutting him off from the opportunity of salvation. The hardening was against the appeal to let Israel go, not against God’s appeal for Pharaoh to accept personal salvation. Christ died for Pharaoh, just as much as for Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the children of Israel.

When God hardened Pharaoh's heart, He did not make Pharaoh choose to disobey Moses (God). But, He foreknew that Pharaoh would refuse to obey, thus hardening his heart. This can happen before or after one's probation is closed. Jesus hardened Judas' heart when He washed his feet. He hardened it again when He revealed Judas to be a traitor. This time, it was forever, there was no turning back.

God has given us great light, that much is no longer a mystery. Let us walk in the bright light so graciously given to us as a people. So much has been ignored and rejected by many.


The crucial point in all this is that as fallen human beings we have such a narrow view of the world, of reality, and of God and how He works in the world. How can we expect to understand all of God’s ways when the natural world, everywhere we turn, holds mysteries we can’t understand? After all, it was only in the past 171 years that doctors learned it might be a good idea to wash their hands before performing surgery! That’s how steeped in ignorance we have been. And who knows, if time should last, what other things we will discover in the future that will reveal just how steeped in ignorance we are today?

It is not the mysteries we have not been told that ought to concern us, but the great light we have been given that we are responsible for. On judgment day none will be condemned because they innocently believed a lie or unknowingly cherished error, but because they did not avail themselves of the opportunity to know what has been revealed through the prophets of old and a modern day prophet who came in the Spirit of Elijah.

Going further, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for Seventh-day Adventists who have been given great light and not walked in it.


Certainly we don’t always understand God’s ways, but Jesus came to reveal to us what God is like (John 14:9). Why, then, amid all of life’s mysteries and unexpected events is it so crucial for us to dwell on the character of Christ and what He has revealed to us about God and His love for us?

Because Scripture instructs us to dwell on the character of Christ. It is to many a well kept secret. For by knowing this and doing it, we are transformed into His character by the Spirit of God. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18. Jesus told us that we ought to drink His blood and eat His flesh. He also said that man does not live by bread alone by but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Do we want more reasons to dwell on Christ? There are more. Share some others you know of.


How can knowing what God’s character is like help us to stay faithful amid trials that seem so unjustified and so unfair?

By beholding His character we see His love. It is this grace that melts the heart and transforms the life. It is this that brings forth a new creature when we love Him who first loved us.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2017, 06:10:15 AM »
Wednesday December 6

Ammi: “My People”

In Romans 9:25 Paul quotes Hosea 2:23, and in Romans 9:26 he quotes Hosea 1:10. The background is that God instructed Hosea to take “a wife of whoredoms” (Hos. 1:2) as an illustration of God’s relationship with Israel, because the nation had gone after strange gods. The children born to this marriage were given names signifying God’s rejection and punishment of idolatrous Israel. The third child was named Loammi (Hos. 1:9), meaning literally “not my people.”

Yet, amid all this, Hosea predicted that the day would come when, after punishing His people, God would restore their fortunes, take away their false gods, and make a covenant with them. (see Hos. 2:11-19). At this point those who were Loammi, “not my people,” would become Ammi, “my people.”

The promises to Israel of Old, were not fulfilled when we speak of their end, for they were cut off because of their rejection of Him who gave all for them. Those promises are for the "Israel" of today. Here is one such promise that is for the church of today: "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." Eze. 36:25. Tell those who say the church will not go through to the end, that God has promised to bring about a revival and reformation, that grace has the power to cleanse His church today. Not all will be cleansed, but those who reject His grace will be sifted out in "the shaking."


In Paul’s day, the Ammi were “even us, . . . not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Rom. 9:24). What a clear and powerful presentation of the gospel, a gospel that from the start was intended for the whole world. No wonder we as Adventists take part of our calling from Revelation 14:6: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”  Today, as in Paul’s day, and as in the days of ancient Israel, the good news of salvation is to be spread throughout the world.

Read Romans 9:25-29.

 9:25   As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 
 9:26   And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 
 9:27   Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 
 9:28   For he will finish the work, and cut [it] short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 
 9:29   And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 


Notice how much Paul quotes the Old Testament to make his point about the things that were happening in his day. What is the basic message found in this passage? What hope is being offered there to his readers?

There will be a repentant people brought out of the world and those chosen people (Israel then and now). Not all will repent, but there will be a remnant saved from Old Israel and "Spiritual Israel" today.


The fact that some of Paul’s kinsmen rejected the appeal of the gospel gave him “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in his heart (Rom. 9:2). But at least there was a remnant. God’s promises do not fail, even when humans do. The hope we can have is that, in the end, God’s promises will be fulfilled, and if we claim those promises for ourselves, they will be fulfilled in us, as well.

Many will claim promises that will not be fulfilled. Why not? What can we do to insure the promise of salvation will be ours? Are there conditions to be met? If so, what are they?


How often have people failed you? How often have you failed yourself and others? Probably more times than you can count, right? What lessons can you learn from these failures about where your ultimate trust must lie?

Peter walked on water! Yet, Peter had not a good knowledge of who he was apart from Christ. He was a slow learner that he needed Christ continually to walk on water. When he took his eyes off of Jesus, he fell. We will also fall (sin) when we take our eyes off of Jesus. We must cling to Christ if we want to glorify Him by revealing His character in us. This is what is means to give glory to Him, to be His true witnesses. Our first lesson is to see our continual need of Jesus in order to honor Him. The next lesson is to learn how we are reconciled with God and how we can maintain our connection with Him. Any suggestions as to what we must do in order to remain in Him?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 06:37:58 AM »

Thursday December 7

Stumbling


“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith” (Rom. 9:30-32). What’s the message here, and, more important, how can we take this message that was written in a certain time and place and apply the principles to ourselves today? How can we avoid making the same mistakes in our context that some Israelites did in theirs?

Let us first define what is "the righteousness which is of faith"? If we fail to understand this, this our answer will not be correct. Let one of our Bible scholars give an answer.


In words that cannot be misunderstood, Paul explains to his kinsmen why they are missing out on something that God wishes them to have - and more than that, on something they were actually pursuing but not achieving.

Interestingly, the Gentiles whom God had accepted had not even been striving for such acceptance. They had been pursuing their own interests and goals when the gospel message came to them. Grasping its value, they accepted it. God declared them righteous because they accepted Jesus Christ as their Substitute. It was a transaction of faith.

Yes, but there is more. They were transformed when they gave Jesus the whole heart. He cleansed the heart from all sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. In other words, while Jesus imputes His righteousness to all who truly are converted, He also transforms the character at the same time. This is where the lesson fails to teach an important truth. It is here where Satan has made a successful attack on the gospel of grace. The "thief on the cross" was transformed in character while on the cross. It was not just the righteousness of Christ imputed to Him that made Him fit for heaven, but it was the righteousness of Christ which was imparted to Him on the cross that made Him fit for heaven and a true witness while hanging on the cross. He had become a partaker of God's divine nature and thus was empowered to keep the law of God. So are all who make a whole heart surrender to Christ.


The problem with the Israelites was that they stumbled at the stumbling stone (see Rom. 9:33). Some, not all (see Acts 2:41), refused to accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah whom God had sent. He did not meet their expectations of the Messiah; hence, they turned their backs on Him when He came.

Before this chapter ends, Paul quotes another Old Testament text: “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33). In this passage, Paul shows again just how crucial true faith is in the plan of salvation (see also 1 Pet. 2:6-8). A rock of offense? And yet, whoever believes in Him shall not be ashamed? Yes, for many, Jesus is a stumbling block, but for those who know Him and love Him, He is another kind of rock, “the rock of my salvation” (Ps. 89:26).

Amen! Those who love the Lord God "with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might," they are the sons of God. If our love is not full, then we do not love God enough, yet.


Have you ever found Jesus to be a “stumbling block” or a “rock of offense”? If so, how so? That is, what were you doing that brought you into that situation? How did you get out, and what did you learn so that, one hopes, you never find yourself in that type of contrary relationship with Jesus again?

One need not stumble because of Jesus, but if we allow our minds to wander away from Him, we will sin never the less. Our nature does not have to stumble because of Christ. All we have to do is forget about Him. In order to not stumble (sin) we need to be fully surrendered to Him. We must maintain our connection with Christ in order to not fall into the pit of sin. If we fall into the world from which we came, then we need to spend more time with Jesus whom we love, so that we may be reconciled with Him. When we love Him more than anything in this world, then we will be re-united with Him. He through the Holy Spirit will dwell in the heart fully surrendered to Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2017, 07:13:58 AM »
Friday December 8

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Later English Reformers”, pp. 261, 262, in The Great Controversy; “Faith and Works”, pp. 530, 531, in The SDA Encyclopedia; Ellen G. White Comments, pp. 1099, 1100, in The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1.

“There is an election of individuals and a people, the only election found in the word of God, where man is elected to be saved. Many have looked at the end, thinking they were surely elected to have heavenly bliss; but this is not the election the Bible reveals. Man is elected to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected to put on the armor, to fight the good fight of faith. He is elected to use the means God has placed within his reach to war against every unholy lust, while Satan is playing the game of life for his soul. He is elected to watch unto prayer, to search the Scriptures, and to avoid entering into temptation. He is elected to have faith continually. He is elected to be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that he may be, not a hearer only, but a doer of the word. This is Bible election.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 453, 454.


Wow! If ever there were an opportunity to class our church as legalistic, this would appear to be such. Talk about working!! But, not so. When one is converted, these are his marching orders. Not all is bliss when one joins the army of God. Those who make a full surrender, who believe with the whole heart, have a fierce battle to fight. We must "have faith continually", that is we must have "saving faith" continually or else we shall fall from our high estate. And, even the battle prior to conversion is a great battle, the greatest battle we shall ever have to fight.


“No finite mind can fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. We cannot by searching find out God. To minds the strongest and most highly cultured, as well as to the weakest and most ignorant, that holy Being must remain clothed in mystery. But though ‘clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.’ Psalm 97:2, R.V. We can so far comprehend His dealing with us as to discern boundless mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as we are capable of comprehending; beyond this we may still trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.” - Ellen G. White, Education, p.169.


Amen!!



Discussion Questions:


    Certain Christians teach that, even before we were born, God chose some to be saved and some to be lost. If you happened to have been one of those whom God, in His infinite love and wisdom, preordained to be lost, then no matter the choices you make, you are doomed to perdition - which many people believe means burning in hell for eternity. In other words, through no choice of our own but only through God’s providence, some are predestined to live without a saving relationship with Jesus here in this life, only to spend the next one burning forever in the fires of hell. What’s wrong with that picture? How does that view contrast with our understanding of these same issues?

God knows our future, but does not cause it.


    How do you see the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its calling in the world today paralleling the role of ancient Israel in its day? What are the similarities and the differences? In what ways are we doing better? Or are we doing worse? Justify your answer.

God gave Israel almost 2,000 years to rightly represent Him to the nations of the world. Instead of doing so, they most often misrepresented Him. They, as a people, sunk lower and lower until when God sent His Son to them, they knew Him not and put Him to death.

How is it today? We have only been "chosen" for a little over 160 years. In that time we too, have misrepresented the character of our God. We too, have not done that entrusted to us as a people. Today we find rebellion in the church. It appears we too are falling lower and lower. Israel  was in the wilderness when God was leading them with great light, for 40 years. We have been wandering in the wilderness for over 160 years, even with a modern day prophet giving to us great light. Jesus would have returned long ago if we had been His faithful witnesses.

While the leaders in Israel were primarily teaching salvation by works, Satan has been successful at bringing into the church today multiple "gospels" besides salvation by works. The line between truth and error is much closer today than then. If possible even the very elect, those abiding in Christ and He in them, would be deceived. But, they will not, for they are not looking to man, but to God and His Word.

God has allowed heresies to come into the church to awaken the sleeping sheep. The heresies are so bad that it is nigh impossible to not see them unless one has chosen to reject simple truth. Today, many leaders in the church are, like the Sanhedrin that condemned Christ, not following their own laws. The situation is so bad that many in the church have never experienced true conversion. Great light was given to the church in 1888, but it was rejected by many in leadership. The gospel had been perverted and in 1888 'God attempted to reveal the true message.  Not long after, Ellen White revealed how bad the situation really was.

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 (Manuscript 148, 1897). Vol 6, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, pg 1075.
Notice the date was nine years after 1888. Yes, the church rejected the gospel truth, and thus the church remained in a Laodicean condition where it was rare to find one who had been converted. What a statement! So it is today.

We are nearing the end. The true gospel, the righteousness of Christ, is going forth in our day as it did in 1888. This time it will not be stopped. Jesus is coming so very soon, and He will find a people who are keeping His commandments and have the faith of Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 05:16:06 PM »
Wednesday December 6

The fact that some of Paul’s kinsmen rejected the appeal of the gospel gave him “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in his heart (Rom. 9:2). But at least there was a remnant. God’s promises do not fail, even when humans do. The hope we can have is that, in the end, God’s promises will be fulfilled, and if we claim those promises for ourselves, they will be fulfilled in us, as well.

Many will claim promises that will not be fulfilled. Why not? What can we do to insure the promise of salvation will be ours? Are there conditions to be met? If so, what are they?

Many people have put their hope in claiming promises while they do not surrender the whole heart to Jesus. It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the loveliness of Jesus as revealed in His life--especially focusing on the closing scenes of His life. When we behold Jesus, and surrender the WHOLE heart to Him, we become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), a nature which is manifested in all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. Unless we come to the point of full surrender (conversion), we can know the Bible better than the Pharisees, and yet if the heart is not given fully and continually to Christ, His promises will not be fulfilled to us. If we are honest, our great struggle is to have SAVING belief--and thankfully there is a Bible prayer we can pray in sincerity to the Lord when we are struggling to exercise saving faith (full surrender): Mark 9:24, "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." You can never perish while you sincerely pray this to the Lord, for He will enable the soul to make that full surrender by the power of the Holy Spirit on account of the merits of the righteousness of Christ.
"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}

JimB

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 10--4th Quarter 2017--Children of the Promise
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 04:45:34 AM »
Monday December 4

Elected

“It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:12, 13).

The lesson this week seemed to want to do everything but deal with this text directly so for those who were wondering why and how God would hate someone and in this case we are talking about Esau. If that is you then maybe this more direct approach will help.

There was no arbitrary choice on the part of God by which Esau was shut out from the blessings of salvation. The gifts of His grace through Christ are free to all. There is no election but one's own by which any may perish. . . . Every soul is elected who will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected who will put on the armor and fight the good fight of faith. He is elected who will watch unto prayer, who will search the Scriptures, and flee from temptation. He is elected who will have faith continually, and who will be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The provisions of redemption are free to all; the results of redemption will be enjoyed by those who have complied with the conditions.  {CC 71.4} 
     Esau had despised the blessings of the covenant. He had valued temporal above the spiritual good, and he had received that which he desired. It was by his own deliberate choice that he was separated from the people of God. Jacob had chosen the inheritance of faith. He had endeavored to obtain it by craft, treachery, and falsehood; but God had permitted his sin to work out its correction. . . . The baser elements of character were consumed in the furnace fire, the true gold was refined, until the faith of Abraham and Isaac appeared undimmed in Jacob.  {CC 71.5}

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}