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Wally

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SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:18:24 PM »
Lesson 7 February 10-16






Honesty With God













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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 09:06:34 AM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 16:10, Lev. 27:30, Gen. 22:1-12, Heb. 12:2, Luke 11:42, Heb. 7:2-10, Nehemiah 13.

Memory Verse: “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15

What is an honest heart, and how is it revealed? Contemporary culture often views honesty as some vague, relativistic ethic; most people are occasionally dishonest but consider it acceptable as long as the infringement is not too great. Also specific circumstances, it is claimed, could justify some dishonesty.

Sounds like most churches, even God's church. How very sad. If one is not occasionally dishonest, then he is perfectly honest. But, God forbid that some ministers of truth would teach that we cannot be perfect in our sinful flesh. Such a deception!! We hear this being preached in pulpits and published on our presses.

So, what do we do about it? We study the Bible for ourselves. And when an honest teacher is found, we listen for the truth, then we go home and see if it is so. We do not put our trust in man, but in God and His Word. And, when we study to know God, will He allow us to be deceived? No. Then we shall understand what it means to be a Christian. It means that we give the whole heart to Jesus and when we abide in Him and He in us, through the Holy Spirit, the heart will be perfect, white as new snow. The Christian when fully surrendered will be perfectly honest. He may eat the wrong food, keep the wrong day, but his motives will pure and holy because he loves God supremely and is looking unto Jesus.

The lesson asks "what is an honest heart?"  It is a heart fully given to Christ on which is written the law of God. The law is not written upon the heart until it is honest when Jesus has possession of it. If it is a carnal heart, it is an evil heart and can do no good thing.


Truth and honesty are always together. Yet, we were not born with an inclination to be honest; it is a learned moral virtue and is at the core of a steward’s moral character.

Yes, and no. Yes, we are not born with an honest heart, nor an inclination to do good. We are aligned with Satan and sin and at enmity with God until we are truly converted. That means when we receive a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26,27).

No, it is not a learned moral virtue. We are not Pharisees, attempting to learn virtue by practice. We must be born again of the Spirit in order to have moral virtue, then by practice the character will be strengthened. This is why God allows trials to come to us. Tribulation works not only patience, but gives us an experience which prepares us for the day when we will have no Intercessor. We develop a mind that knows it can do not good without the abiding presence of Jesus. We learn by experience that we are evil by nature and are totally dependent upon Jesus in order to be honest or to manifest any other virtue.

When we are converted, born again of the Spirit, we then have moral virtue. When the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart, He brings with Him the righteousness of Christ, all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one is missing. "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, pg 676. The righteousness of Christ, moral virtue, is both imputed and imparted to the repentant Christian.


When we practice honesty good things come of it. For instance, there is never a worry about being caught in a lie or then having to cover it up. For this reason and more, honesty is a valuable personality trait, especially under difficult situations when the temptation might easily be toward dishonesty.

When we give the whole heart to Christ, good things come of it. We do not practice honesty until we are born again and we cannot continue to practice honesty unless we continually abide in Christ and He in us. We must have a new heart in order to be honest. In other words, when we have a new honest heart, it is revealed in honesty and all of the fruits of the Spirit are in the life.


In this week’s lesson we will study the spiritual concept of honesty through the practice of tithing and see why tithing is vitally important to the steward and stewardship.

We will keep the statement made at the beginning of today's lesson before us each day this week. "Contemporary culture often views honesty as some vague, relativistic ethic; most people are occasionally dishonest but consider it acceptable as long as the infringement is not too great." Most Christians believe it is acceptable to God to occasionally sin, as long as the sin is not too great. Is this a true statement which applies to most who call themselves Christians? I am not talking about practice, but belief which is being taught in their churches?

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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 09:09:13 AM »
Sunday February 11

A Matter of Simple Honesty

One thing most of us have in common is that we do not like dishonesty. We especially do not like it when we see it manifested in others. It’s not easy, though, to see it in ourselves, and when we do, we tend to rationalize our actions, to justify them, to downplay their significance: Oh, it’s not that bad; it’s only a small thing, not really important. We might fool ourselves even, most of the time; but we never fool God.

“Dishonesty is practiced all through our ranks, and this is the cause of lukewarmness on the part of many who profess to believe the truth. They are not connected with Christ and are deceiving their own souls.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 310.


Read Luke 16:10.

   He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 

What important principle does Jesus express here that should help us see how important it is to be honest, even in the “little things”?

Character is character. We are either honest or we are not. We cannot serve two masters, we serve one or the others. A little sin reveals a separation from God. If we have not His Spirit, we are  none of His. When we sin, we are serving Satan, not God. Is this being preached from our pulpits and published on our presses? In 1888, Jesus wanted to come. The Spirit was being poured out upon the church. The true gospel message was being preached, but many in leadership rejected it. How about today? Is this message of being faithful in the little things accepted? No, it is not. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9. You have never heard this preached or printed in a periodical. Why not? because it is contrary to the accepted "gospels" being preached.


God, though, knows just how easily we can be dishonest, especially when it comes to the things that we possess. Hence, He has given us a powerful antidote to dishonesty and selfishness, at least when it comes to material possessions.

There is only One thing that can keep us honest, it is Jesus living in the heart. It may be that a verse of Scripture dealing with the law may reveal we do not love Jesus supremely. But, that is not the same as having power to keep one honest.


Read Leviticus 27:30 and Malachi 3:8.

27:30   And all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit of the tree, [is] the LORD'S: [it is] holy unto the LORD. 
3:8   Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 


What do these texts teach and how can what they talk about help keep us honest?

Like the rest of the law, they reveal sin. But, as the lesson has pointed out, many do not believe they have to be faithful in the little things. The church may make tithe a big thing, but the church member knows that many receiving tithe ought not be receiving it. So, they reason it is a little thing to pay tithe into a backslidden church. But, little things are important. If there were no tithe being paid into God's church, how would the faithful minister be supported? This is not a "little" thing. This is God's church and there are faithful ministers and they need to be supported and encouraged. God will take care of the unfaithful. Make it our business be not like the unfaithful church leader. That includes what we may see as "little" things.

And, as the author of the lessons has pointed out, it is more than tithe. We rob God of His glory when we sin, big or little sins. Quit making excuses for the little sins in life. There is no excuse since Jesus at great expense has provided a remedy. What is that remedy? Grace. How do we receive that grace into our hearts? By beholding Him who suffered and died when He took our sins upon Himself. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. By beholding His glory we shall be changed into His image (character) by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).


“No appeal is made to gratitude or to generosity. This is a matter of simple honesty. The tithe is the Lord’s; and He bids us return to Him that which is His own. . . . If honesty is an essential principle of business life, must we not recognize our obligation to God - the obligation that underlies every other?” - Ellen G. White, Education, pp. 138, 139.


How can paying tithe help you remember who, ultimately, owns all that you have? Why is it important never to forget who owns all our possessions anyway?

Do we trust Jesus with all we have and all we are?  Where do we spend our time? On what do we spend our money? The problem is not in withholding tithe, it is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. Like the rebellion taking place in the church today, it reflects a separation from God. It reveals a lack of faith. We do not love God with all of the heart, mind, soul, and strength. We do not love our enemy. We need to be born again of His Spirit, then we will be faithful in tithing and all else we know to be commanded by God.

And, since we do not know the heart of another, we need to be very careful how we judge him. There is always more than we can see. It may that one is eating something that is not healthful, but do you know the heart of him who does so? Then we need to judge others by the fruits seen in their lives, not by the keeping of the law. When one is truly converted, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life, not one will be missing. (DA 676).
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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 09:30:41 AM »

Monday February 12

The Life of Faith


Read Genesis 22:1-12.

 22:1   And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, [here] I [am]. 
 22:2   And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 
 22:3   And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 
 22:4   Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 
 22:5   And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 
 22:6   And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 
 22:7   And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here [am] I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering? 
 22:8   And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 
 22:9   And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 
 22:10   And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 
 22:11   And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I. 
 22:12   And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me. 

What does this story tell us about the reality of Abraham’s faith?

He trusted God with all he had and all he was.


The life of faith is not a one-time event. We don’t just express faith in a powerful way one time, and thus prove that we are, indeed, loyal and faithful Christians living by grace and covered by the blood of Christ.
 
The lesson is attempting to reveal that God wants us to grow in our strength of character. The lesson does not reveal that the reason why God brought this test to Abram was because he sinned. But, He also measured the trial in manner that Abram could resist the temptation. God provided a way of escape. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13. God knew that Abram would pass the test. Then why the test? Because it would accomplish at least two things of great importance. First, it would reveal God's grace to Abram and to all who came after Abraham. How so? We will allow one of our Bible scholars to share how God's grace was revealed in this experience of Abram's.

Secondly, it is through trial that God' designs we grow in character.  "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5. Abram became more patient after this test. He also had an experience that better prepared him for what was coming. And, another important thing that came from this experience is the testimony of the power of grace which encourages us that we too can grow in our faith. It is by knowing the voice of God, by knowing His character that we will have faith to overcome great temptations.

This was the closest test to come to man. And, it was because Abram had said his wife was his sister, and he had not trusted in God to provide him a son. He chose to do it his way instead of depending upon God. But, he had repented of his sins and his character was such that he trusted God enough to obey Him in offering his son, the son of promise.

We look forward to one of our Bible scholars sharing with us how it was that God's grace was revealed in this great trial of Abraham's faith.
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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2018, 06:54:38 AM »
Tuesday February 13

A Statement of Faith

As we saw yesterday, faith is a process, a dynamic experience that, ideally, grows and matures. And one way God is “finishing” our faith and bringing it to completeness is through the act of tithing. Rightly understood, tithe returned to God is not legalism; when we tithe we are not working or seeking to earn our way to heaven. Instead, tithing is a statement of faith. It is an outward, visible, personal expression of the reality of our faith.

Yes, to a degree it is. But, a more sure expression of saving faith in the life of Christians are the fruits of the Spirit. We cannot judge another's faith by their paying tithe, but we can by the fruits of the Spirit seen in the life. Jesus tells us it is by their fruit that we may know them. You cannot get bad fruit from a good tree, and you cannot get good fruit from a bad tree. We long for the day when we see this printed on our presses and preached in our pulpits.


After all, anyone can claim to have faith and to believe in God, and even to believe in Jesus. As we know, “even the devils believe” in God (James 2:19). But to take 10 percent of your income and give it back to God? That is an act of faith.

No, it is not always an act of faith. Many do it for other reasons than love of God. Many pay tithe and they will not enter heaven.

Read Luke 11:42.

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 


What does it mean when Jesus implies that tithing is not to be left undone? How does tithe relate to the weightier matters of the law?

We are to tithe. But, there are things more important, the weightier matters. What are the more important matters?


Tithing is a humble expression of dependence on God and an act of trust that Christ is our Redeemer. It is recognition that we have already been blessed “with all spiritual blessings” (Eph. 1:3) and a promise of more.

Amen. It is also an expression of belief. A belief that a Laodicean church will see revival and reformation. If we fail to understand this simple but important truth, then many will not see the need to tithe into the organized church since the tithe is going to pay unfaithful ministers. If we know the church will be revived, then we want to help bring about that reformation. What would happen to the faithful ministers if no tithe was being paid?

Read Genesis 28:14-22.

 28:14   And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 
 28:15   And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of. 
 28:16   And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew [it] not. 
 28:17   And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful [is] this place! this [is] none other but the house of God, and this [is] the gate of heaven. 
 28:18   And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put [for] his pillows, and set it up [for] a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 
 28:19   And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city [was called] Luz at the first. 
 28:20   And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 
 28:21   So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 
 28:22   And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. 

 
What was Jacob’s response to God’s promise?

“God’s plan in the tithing system is beautiful in its simplicity and equality. All may take hold of it in faith and courage, for it is divine in its origin. In it are combined simplicity and utility, and it does not require depth of learning to understand and execute it. All may feel that they can act a part in carrying forward the precious work of salvation. Every man, woman, and youth may become a treasurer for the Lord, and may be an agent to meet the demands upon the treasury.” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 73.

In what ways have you discovered for yourself the true spiritual blessings that come from paying tithe? How has paying tithe helped increase your faith?

Faith in what God has written is always a blessing. When we believe what God has said, we can move forward in faith even though we do not see with our human eyes how this can be. Right now today, it is impossible to see how the church is going to weather the rebellion in her midst. There is fear that if those spreading the rebellion are dealt with according to the Constitution we operate under, the result would be unthinkable. It is one thing to be patient and long suffering. It is another to allow rebellion to continue to spread year after year and not deal with it.

So, even though we do not see an end to this, and the rebellion continues to infect more and more, by faith we believe the organized church will see a shaking and a reformation. God is pouring out a cleansing flood upon His church, and the result will be revival and reformation. Thus, we can pay tithe into the church expecting to see the faithful ministers stand up for Christ and His church. The shaking will be brought about by the testimony of the True Witness (Revelation 3:14-22.  It is interesting that we just read from Genesis verses 14-22. These verses in Revelation are present truth for the verses in Genesis chapter 28.

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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2018, 07:56:08 AM »

Wednesday February 14

Honest Tithe: Holy to the Lord


We often talk about giving God tithe. But how do we give to God what He already owns?

Read Leviticus 27:30.

And all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit of the tree, [is] the LORD'S: [it is] holy unto the LORD. 

What two important points are found in this text in regard to tithe?

The tithe is God's, so is all of the seed and all of the fruit. But, the tithe is holy. It is set aside for a holy purpose. What is that holy purpose? And, is that purpose being fulfilled? If we are going to be transparent, if we are going to teach the truth, then we need to go beyond what is comfortable to the real issues. If Israel was teaching a false gospel, then they would have been guilty of using a holy tithe for an unholy purpose.

That is easy to see. They slaughtered millions of lambs, but they did so in a meritorious manner. That was not a holy use of the lamb that was tithed into the church. So, can we honestly look at the present situation where we all understand there are many "gospels" coming forth from minsters who are being paid by the tithe, the holy tithe. The Bible says "accursed" be the man that brings "another" gospel into the church. We cannot call the tithe holy and not call the minister accursed who takes the holy tithe and perverts the gospel message and leads many to perdition.

When we can acknowledge this, then we can honestly call the tithe holy and expect that there will be a teaching that makes clear the responsibility of the minister to teach the Word of God, not the traditions and wisdom of faulty man. We need faithful teachers in our schools that rightly educate our young people, including the seminaries that educate our pastors and administrators.


“Tithe belongs to the Lord and therefore is holy. It does not become holy through a vow or a consecration act. It is simply holy by its very nature; it belongs to the Lord. No one except God has a right to it. No one can consecrate it to the Lord, because tithe is never part of a person’s property.” - Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, Stewardship Roots (Silver Spring, Md.: Stewardship Ministries Department, 1994), p. 52.

Well...the tithe in fact goes to the ones teaching the truth. If we will teach the truth as it is in Jesus, we will better be able to explain why we tithe into a Laodicean church. And, we will also explain that a backslidden church that misuses the tithe to teach error will be responsible to God, not the one who paid tithe after attempting to correct the problem in the church. That is to say, we may pay tithe into the church even though the tithe is not being used properly, if we have attempted to correct the problem. Those who misuse the tithe will be responsible to God for the misuse of the holy tithe.

It also helps to understand that those who stand on vantage ground, the church leaders, will be held to a much higher standard than those not in leadership positions in the church. In other words, it will more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for unfaithful ministers who are responsible for misusing the holy tithe.  Conference officers who allow false shepherds into the ministry and leave them there, while paying them with the holy tithe will one day be judged for doing so. We do not believe in hell fire that burns for eternity. But, we do believe the Bible teaches that hell fire will burn unrepentant sinners until justice has been satisfied. That judgment will begin with the leadership of the church (See Ezekiel 9).


We do not make tithe holy; God does so by designation. He has that right. As stewards, we return to Him what is His. Tithe is dedicated to God for a specific task. Holding it for any other designation is dishonest. The practice of returning a holy tithe is never to be broken.

Amen. And the use of that holy tithe is never to be perverted. The tithe is dedicated for a specific task. That task is the preaching of the gospel message, that message which was rejected by much of the leadership in 1888, and has been rejected to a great degree ever since. And, what do we hear about it? Nothing. Let the Sabbath School be honest in its teaching. Let our people look to Scripture not to man. A half truth is a lie. Let the holy tithe be holy. Let the holy tithe we used for it intended task. And, when a Laodicean church perverts the truth and misuses the holy tithe to teach "another gospel,"  then let  the church leaders repent in sack cloth and ashes. The practice of using the holy tithe for teaching the gospel is never to be broken. But, it has been broken and the lesson is silent. Why?


Read Hebrews 7:2-10.

7:2   To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 
 7:3   Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 
 7:4   Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 
 7:5   And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 
 7:6   But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 
 7:7   And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 
 7:8   And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 
 7:9   And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 
 7:10   For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. 


How does Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s tithing to Melchizedek reveal a deeper significance of tithing? To whom was Abraham really tithing?

Thus, as the Sabbath is holy, so the tithe is holy. The word “holy” means “set apart for sacred use.” The Sabbath and the tithe are connected in this way. We set apart the seventh-day Sabbath as sacred, as holy; and we set apart the tithe as God’s sacred possession, as that which is holy.

Amen! And what is that holy use? What is that "sacred" use? It is not for the preaching of "another gospel."


“God has sanctified the seventh day. That specified portion of time, set apart by God Himself for religious worship, continues as sacred today as when first hallowed by our Creator.

“In like manner a tithe of our income is ‘holy unto the Lord.’ The New Testament does not reenact the law of the tithe, as it does not that of the Sabbath; for the validity of both is assumed, and their deep spiritual import explained. . . . While we as a people are seeking faithfully to give to God the time which He has reserved as His own, shall we not also render to Him that portion of our means which He claims?” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 66.


What can you do to help keep the realization alive in your heart and mind that your tithe is, indeed, “holy”?

We must go to the church leadership and express our sorrow and concern that the holy tithe is being misused. It is going to support those who preach "another gospel." Sadly, many in leadership positions are not bothered by the multitude of false gospels being proclaimed in God's church. None can argue that this is not the case. One may argue that one is correct and others are false, but that is not the primary issue that is seen by all. That there are many "gospels" being preached is a fact. And, that nothing is done about the use of the holy tithe to support false gospels is also apparent to all who have eyes to see.

If one continues to pay tithe into the church and says nothing about the misuse of the holy tithe, then he is guilty of that misuse of the holy tithe he has paid into the church.

Earlier in this week's lesson, I asked what are the weightier matters that Jesus spoke of? This is one of them. That the gospel would be perverted by ministers in God's church is a very serious matter. What did Jesus say? "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." 

So, we ought to pay tithe, but ministers and others pass over the gospel message of judgment and love. Notice that Jesus did not separate judgment and love. Satan does that and so do those who do his work. In the church today, we see this often in our pulpits and coming forth from our presses. Judgment is separated from love. There are two forks in the road, not just one. Satan has made provision for all who do not seek after the truth. It has been Satan's position all along to charge God with being unfair. If He forgives the sinner, then He is not just. Or, if He does not forgive the sinner, then He is not merciful. But, Christ does both. At the cross, justice met mercy, both were satisfied.

Let none say man cannot keep the law, in Christ he is empowered to keep the law. Let none say they can keep the law without giving the whole heart to Christ, for man is sinful by nature and can do no good thing until He is filled with the Holy Spirit at conversion. Thus, the gospel message is seen in its beauty and truth.

Those who pass over the gospel truth and pay tithe are like unto the Pharisees in Christ's day. If we pay tithe, and say nothing about the unholy use of it, we like they are guilty.

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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2018, 08:21:53 AM »

Thursday February 15

Revival, Reformation, and Tithing


The long reign of Hezekiah is considered the high point for the tribe of Judah. Not since the reign of David and Solomon had Israel enjoyed God’s blessing so greatly. In 2 Chronicles 29-31 is Hezekiah’s record of revival and reformation: “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Chron. 29:2, NIV). “The house of the LORD was set in order” (2 Chron. 29:35, NKJV). The Passover was kept
(2 Chron. 30:5). “There was great joy in Jerusalem” (2 Chron. 30:26, NKJV). Pagan images, altars, and high places were destroyed (2 Chron. 31:1). There was a sudden revival of heart and reformation of practice, resulting in an abundance of tithe and offerings (2 Chron. 31:4, 5, 12).

Nehemiah gives another example of revival, reformation, and tithing. Read Nehemiah 9:2, 3. What did the revival of the heart mean? Read Nehemiah 13. After Nehemiah reformed the “house of God”, (Neh. 13:4) what did the people of Judah bring there (Neh. 13:12)?

“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” - Ellen G. White, Christian Service, p. 42.

The relationship between revival, reformation, and tithing is automatic. Without a return of the tithe, revival and reformation are lukewarm, if it is a revival at all. Too often we as Christians stand idle on the sidelines when we ought to be actively involved on the Lord’s side. Revival and reformation demand a commitment, and tithing is part of that commitment. If we hold back from God what He asks of us, we cannot expect Him to respond to what we ask of Him.

The subject of tithing and revival and reformation is important. But, the lesson has misapplied Scripture. Paying tithe does not bring about revival and reformation. "The relationship between revival and reformation, and tithing is automatic." Amen! It is indeed automatic, but not in the order the lesson implies. We are being told that if we do not tithe, then the revival and reformation are lukewarm. No, the revival and reformation are not dependent upon tithe paying. It is the other way around. If we want to see faithful tithe paying, then there needs first to be revival, then there will come reformation. We must first give the whole heart to Christ, then there will be revival and reformation in the church. Then, there will be faithful tithe paying.

If one pays tithe, it will have nothing to do with bringing about revival and reformation. That is Phariseeism.


Revival and reformation take place in the church, not outside of it (Ps. 85:6). We must seek God for revival (Ps. 80:19) and reformation of “the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5, NIV). A reformation must take place regarding what we keep and what we return to God.

Why would we expect Laodiceans who remain selfish to pay a faithful tithe? Are they attempting to work their way to heaven? If we want to see more tithe coming into the church, then let the pastors preach the true gospel message. It is grace that will cause an increase in tithe, not telling the people they are unfaithful in their tithe paying.


It is not the act that makes the difference, but the decision of the mind and emotions that reveal the motive and commitment. The results will be an increased faith, sharpened spiritual vision, and renewed honesty.

What will change the motives? The answer is always the same, we need Jesus. We need to trust Him with all we have and all we are. We  must give Him the whole heart. But, it is impossible to give so much unless we know Him intimately. How can we know Jesus in this manner? We have a part to play in our conversion. We must learn of Him. We must feed upon Jesus. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh if we want more faith, saving faith.

If we want physical life, we eat bread, if we want spiritual life, we must feed upon Jesus. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. Yet, so many will not take the time to do so. Then, how shall we know Him who gave all that we might live? Join with us each day as we spend that time with Jesus and share what we are learning about Him. You will be blessed.
The Life of Jesus

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colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 08:34:36 AM »

It is interesting that about every so often we have the lesson on tithing and personal accountability in terms of paying tithe.  However, I do not recall every reading about accountability regarding how the church leadership uses the tithe. Is there not accountability there as well that deserves study and discussion ? I don't suppose  leadership and especially NAD leadership would dare to speak to that.
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 08:39:07 AM »
That is right cp.  The lesson is silent on this.   Read my comments in Wednesdays lesson on the "holy" tithe.
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Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 08:39:36 AM »
Friday February 16

Further Thought: God initiated all the covenants stated in the Bible and has taken the lead in drawing His people into these covenants (Heb. 8:10). The covenant promises reflect His grace, love, and desire to save us.

A covenant with God includes many things: God, a recipient, conditions of the covenant, commitment to the conditions by both parties, stated penalty for failure to keep the covenant, and intended results or outcome desired. The concept of tithing reflects these components in Malachi 3:9, 10. This text reiterates the special covenant of tithing between God and His stewards. When we enter into such a covenant, it is a visible sign that we object to the materialistic principles of consumerism, and we prove that something good can come out of a converted, sinful heart.

“A close, selfish spirit seems to prevent men from giving to God His own. The Lord made a special covenant with men, that if they would regularly set apart the portion designated for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, the Lord would bless them abundantly, so that there would not be room to receive His gifts. But if men withhold that which belongs to God, the Lord plainly declares, ‘Ye are cursed with a curse.” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 77.

Living in a covenant relationship with God has responsibilities. We enjoy the promises of the covenant, but oftentimes dislike the commands and responsibilities. Yet a covenant is, in this context, a two-sided arrangement, and tithing is one part of our living within the covenant.

It is hard to mix the covenant of tithe paying with the New Covenant, or the Everlasting Covenant. One may be unconverted and pay a tithe for the wrong reason. Can God bless that? He can. Does He always? I don't think so. Then let us understand that in order to pay a tithe for the right reason, we must first enter into the New Covenant or the Everlasting Covenant which promises a new heart and new motives. Then tithe paying will produce an abundant harvest, so much that we cannot contain it.


Discussion Questions:

    Why is returning tithe such an important act of faith on our part?

    What words would you have for someone who says, “I just can’t afford to tithe”? How do you help a person who sees himself or herself in this situation? And, besides words, what else might be done to help?

If we trust Jesus with the whole heart, then we will believe what He says. That takes care of the concern, does it not? If we don't trust Him, then we need to put the horse in front of the cart. We must first learn of Him so we will trust with with all we have and all we are.


    Wednesday’s final question asked about what you could do to help keep before you the realization that the tithe is holy. What were some of your answers? How does the fact that it is holy affect how you relate to paying it?

Wednesday's lesson failed to discuss the holy use of the holy tithe. If we will learn of this holy use, then we will recognize we have a part to play in its use. Our part is to go to the church and express our concern about not using the tithe to support the preaching of false gospels. When this is done, then we can in good conscience pay tithe into the church. Otherwise, if the tithe is being used to support "another gospel" and rebellion in the church, and we don't attempt to correct the misuse of the holy tithe, we are guilty.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 09:20:14 AM »
That is right cp.  The lesson is silent on this.   Read my comments in Wednesdays lesson on the "holy" tithe.


good comments
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ejclark

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 04:50:57 PM »
That is right cp.  The lesson is silent on this.   Read my comments in Wednesdays lesson on the "holy" tithe.
Thank you Richard. We just don't realize what level of accountability God calls our leadership to, do we?

And if "we" did, we wouldn't continue in our lukewarm state following our leaders where ever their whims take them/us.

Lord Jesus come quickly.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 07:39:42 PM »

Wednesday February 14

Honest Tithe: Holy to the Lord


We often talk about giving God tithe. But how do we give to God what He already owns?

Read Leviticus 27:30.

And all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit of the tree, [is] the LORD'S: [it is] holy unto the LORD. 

What two important points are found in this text in regard to tithe?

The tithe is God's, so is all of the seed and all of the fruit. But, the tithe is holy. It is set aside for a holy purpose. What is that holy purpose? And, is that purpose being fulfilled? If we are going to be transparent, if we are going to teach the truth, then we need to go beyond what is comfortable to the real issues. If Israel was teaching a false gospel, then they would have been guilty of using a holy tithe for an unholy purpose.

That is easy to see. They slaughtered millions of lambs, but they did so in a meritorious manner. That was not a holy use of the lamb that was tithed into the church. So, can we honestly look at the present situation where we all understand there are many "gospels" coming forth from minsters who are being paid by the tithe, the holy tithe. The Bible says "accursed" be the man that brings "another" gospel into the church. We cannot call the tithe holy and not call the minister accursed who takes the holy tithe and perverts the gospel message and leads many to perdition.

When we can acknowledge this, then we can honestly call the tithe holy and expect that there will be a teaching that makes clear the responsibility of the minister to teach the Word of God, not the traditions and wisdom of faulty man. We need faithful teachers in our schools that rightly educate our young people, including the seminaries that educate our pastors and administrators.


“Tithe belongs to the Lord and therefore is holy. It does not become holy through a vow or a consecration act. It is simply holy by its very nature; it belongs to the Lord. No one except God has a right to it. No one can consecrate it to the Lord, because tithe is never part of a person’s property.” - Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, Stewardship Roots (Silver Spring, Md.: Stewardship Ministries Department, 1994), p. 52.

Well...the tithe in fact goes to the ones teaching the truth. If we will teach the truth as it is in Jesus, we will better be able to explain why we tithe into a Laodicean church. And, we will also explain that a backslidden church that misuses the tithe to teach error will be responsible to God, not the one who paid tithe after attempting to correct the problem in the church. That is to say, we may pay tithe into the church even though the tithe is not being used properly, if we have attempted to correct the problem. Those who misuse the tithe will be responsible to God for the misuse of the holy tithe.

It also helps to understand that those who stand on vantage ground, the church leaders, will be held to a much higher standard than those not in leadership positions in the church. In other words, it will more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for unfaithful ministers who are responsible for misusing the holy tithe.  Conference officers who allow false shepherds into the ministry and leave them there, while paying them with the holy tithe will one day be judged for doing so. We do not believe in hell fire that burns for eternity. But, we do believe the Bible teaches that hell fire will burn unrepentant sinners until justice has been satisfied. That judgment will begin with the leadership of the church (See Ezekiel 9).


We do not make tithe holy; God does so by designation. He has that right. As stewards, we return to Him what is His. Tithe is dedicated to God for a specific task. Holding it for any other designation is dishonest. The practice of returning a holy tithe is never to be broken.

Amen. And the use of that holy tithe is never to be perverted. The tithe is dedicated for a specific task. That task is the preaching of the gospel message, that message which was rejected by much of the leadership in 1888, and has been rejected to a great degree ever since. And, what do we hear about it? Nothing. Let the Sabbath School be honest in its teaching. Let our people look to Scripture not to man. A half truth is a lie. Let the holy tithe be holy. Let the holy tithe we used for it intended task. And, when a Laodicean church perverts the truth and misuses the holy tithe to teach "another gospel,"  then let  the church leaders repent in sack cloth and ashes. The practice of using the holy tithe for teaching the gospel is never to be broken. But, it has been broken and the lesson is silent. Why?


Read Hebrews 7:2-10.

7:2   To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 
 7:3   Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 
 7:4   Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 
 7:5   And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 
 7:6   But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 
 7:7   And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 
 7:8   And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 
 7:9   And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 
 7:10   For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. 


How does Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s tithing to Melchizedek reveal a deeper significance of tithing? To whom was Abraham really tithing?

Thus, as the Sabbath is holy, so the tithe is holy. The word “holy” means “set apart for sacred use.” The Sabbath and the tithe are connected in this way. We set apart the seventh-day Sabbath as sacred, as holy; and we set apart the tithe as God’s sacred possession, as that which is holy.

Amen! And what is that holy use? What is that "sacred" use? It is not for the preaching of "another gospel."


“God has sanctified the seventh day. That specified portion of time, set apart by God Himself for religious worship, continues as sacred today as when first hallowed by our Creator.

“In like manner a tithe of our income is ‘holy unto the Lord.’ The New Testament does not reenact the law of the tithe, as it does not that of the Sabbath; for the validity of both is assumed, and their deep spiritual import explained. . . . While we as a people are seeking faithfully to give to God the time which He has reserved as His own, shall we not also render to Him that portion of our means which He claims?” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 66.


What can you do to help keep the realization alive in your heart and mind that your tithe is, indeed, “holy”?

We must go to the church leadership and express our sorrow and concern that the holy tithe is being misused. It is going to support those who preach "another gospel." Sadly, many in leadership positions are not bothered by the multitude of false gospels being proclaimed in God's church. None can argue that this is not the case. One may argue that one is correct and others are false, but that is not the primary issue that is seen by all. That there are many "gospels" being preached is a fact. And, that nothing is done about the use of the holy tithe to support false gospels is also apparent to all who have eyes to see.

If one continues to pay tithe into the church and says nothing about the misuse of the holy tithe, then he is guilty of that misuse of the holy tithe he has paid into the church.

Earlier in this week's lesson, I asked what are the weightier matters that Jesus spoke of? This is one of them. That the gospel would be perverted by ministers in God's church is a very serious matter. What did Jesus say? "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." 

So, we ought to pay tithe, but ministers and others pass over the gospel message of judgment and love. Notice that Jesus did not separate judgment and love. Satan does that and so do those who do his work. In the church today, we see this often in our pulpits and coming forth from our presses. Judgment is separated from love. There are two forks in the road, not just one. Satan has made provision for all who do not seek after the truth. It has been Satan's position all along to charge God with being unfair. If He forgives the sinner, then He is not just. Or, if He does not forgive the sinner, then He is not merciful. But, Christ does both. At the cross, justice met mercy, both were satisfied.

Let none say man cannot keep the law, in Christ he is empowered to keep the law. Let none say they can keep the law without giving the whole heart to Christ, for man is sinful by nature and can do no good thing until He is filled with the Holy Spirit at conversion. Thus, the gospel message is seen in its beauty and truth.

Those who pass over the gospel truth and pay tithe are like unto the Pharisees in Christ's day. If we pay tithe, and say nothing about the unholy use of it, we like they are guilty.


As a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church it is very encouraging to see that the Sabbath School lesson is being used as a forum to present the gospel truth that so many are not seeing, and helping to bring application to the church in its present Laodicean state (though each of us may daily behold the loveliness of Jesus and surrender fully to Him so as to be saved from such wretchedness). I am encouraged as I look at the comments presented by our brother Richard Myers, and I know that God is moving on other hearts to be involved in using the Sabbath School as a means to present the truth as it is in Jesus. The Sabbath School is to be the place where the gospel is consistently presented, and the souls that come to our churches are given living water, not the teachings of man (broken cisterns). We pray that the Lord will send more laborers to be involved in the important work before us of using the means entrusted to us to present the loveliness of Jesus' character in harmony with all of the light we have been given as Seventh-day Adventists in such a way that hearts who will behold Him will be melted, subdued, transformed, and renewed to reflect the divine nature--all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!

I have a testimony about tithe--since I was a child I was taught to lay aside a tenth and then return it to the Lord. Even through losing both of my parents (my dad died when I was 12, my mom when I was 15), I have seen God continue to generously provide--not just in material ways, but most of all, because He helped me to trust Him out of love for Him, He has given me a new heart that loves to do His will even amid suffering. I consider it an even greater privilege to be a Seventh-day Adventist (since I was 20). When we have an experience with Jesus in all its gospel genuineness, it is attractive, and others will "want what we have"! (Then we can point them to that precious "thoughtful hour" with Jesus!!) That is making the gold of faith working by love attractive as it really is. Returning tithe is a blessing in that it allows us to keep our focus on Jesus--who loves us so much as to give us a privilege to further the gospel ministry--the holy tithe is to be used to support a holy ministry to give a holy gospel message. God has faithful ministers who love Jesus with the whole heart and preach and teach the truth for this time, even though many are not faithful. Jesus knows all about this--and we se how He dealt with the situation in His ministry before His crucifixion (Matthew 23). Do not lose faith in the Christ who is the head of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pray that God will raise up converted, consecrated workers. He is able to do this. He is doing this. Be of good courage. Jesus is coming again soon!
"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}

Sanctuary Girl

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2018, 04:18:32 AM »
While the comments made on Sabbath afternoon's lesson are correct on many levels, the word that is translated "honest" does not really mean honest - it is better translated as noble; it refers to what is attractively good, what inspires or motivates others to embrace what is beautiful and praiseworthy. Also, this parable refers to those who are hearing the word of God, perhaps very early in their experience with Him. If they have noble and good hearts that have responded to God's inbirthed persuasion of His preferred will before, then they will continue to grow and mature in the Christian experience. This passage is talking about someone who grows as a tree grows, increasingly bearing fruit as it matures.

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2018, 08:14:08 AM »
Friday February 16
...we prove that something good can come out of a converted, sinful heart.

"a converted, sinful heart"? [oxymoron: "a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction"]

Does that thought reflect the life of Christ, as a man in the likeness of sinful flesh?


The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked... Jeremiah 17:9

The works of the selfish heart are “as an unclean thing;” and “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6.

Did Christ have "a converted, sinful heart"? Will one within whom Christ has taken possession, manifest "righteousnesses [that] are as filthy rags"?

Romans 7:
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.


The natural man must die, and the new man, Christ Jesus, take possession of the soul.... You may show by your life what the power and grace of God can do in transforming the natural man into a spiritual man in Christ Jesus. God's Amazing Grace 226

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. Matthew 12:33

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 18:31

The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old life, but a transformation of the nature. There is a death to sin and self, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.—The Signs of the Times, March 8, 1910.

Romans 8:
3  God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


Will the fountain of a purified heart pour forth sinful streams; will it have the inclinations, of the sinful heart?

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9


When the grace of God takes possession of the heart, it is seen that the inherited and cultivated tendencies to wrong must be crucified. A new life, under new control, must begin in the soul. All that is done must be done to the glory of God. This work includes the outward as well as the inward man. The entire being, body, soul, and spirit, must be brought into subjection to God, to be used by Him as an instrument of righteousness. Messages to Young People 68

In His person humanity, inhabited by divinity, was represented to the world. God's Amazing Grace 14

[Christ] came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. Lift Him Up 235
THIS, is the mystery of godliness mentioned in Colossians chapter 1; THIS is God the Father's answer to the prayer of Christ in John chapter 17:

Colossians 1:
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

John 17:
22 ...the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.



...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

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2018, 12:24:27 PM »

Today I brought up the fact that how the tithe is used by leadership is never addressed and that it is our duty to hold leadership accountable. One elder said, " well, I believe that 99% of the leadership is serving God to the best of their ability." He is so far removed from what is happening in the church so as to be on his own little island. Another said that it is not our problem what leadership does with tithe. I replied that it is indeed our problem.
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Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2018, 03:28:45 PM »
Also, this parable refers to those who are hearing the word of God, perhaps very early in their experience with Him. If they have noble and good hearts that have responded to God's inbirthed persuasion of His preferred will before, then they will continue to grow and mature in the Christian experience. This passage is talking about someone who grows as a tree grows, increasingly bearing fruit as it matures.

Welcome to our Sabbath School Sanctuary Girl. We appreciate your comments. Yes, the converted Christian will bear all of the fruits of the Spirit when fully surrendered to Jesus, but that perfection of character is not mature when first converted. As one learns more and more and gains experience through trials, the fruit will become more abundant. There will be more love, more joy, and more peace. A noble heart will become more noble as the Christian grows in experience and knowledge. Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered, so it is the Christian who is looking unto Jesus.

Again, welcome to our fellowship! We appreciate all who share what they are learning. Let us press together and hasten the soon coming 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.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2018, 05:46:40 PM »
The Watson Letter


My brother, I wish to say to you, Be careful how you move. You are not moving wisely. The least you have to speak about the tithe that has been appropriated to the most needy and the most discouraging field in the world, the more sensible you will be.
It has been presented to me for years that my tithe was to be appropriated by myself to aid the white and colored ministers who were neglected and did not receive sufficient, properly to support their families. When my attention was called to aged ministers, white or black, it was my special duty to investigate into their necessities and supply their needs. This was to be my special work, and I have done this in a number of cases. No man should give notoriety to the fact that in special cases the tithe is used in that way.
In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers in that field. If there have been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace.
I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this; and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon, for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best.
Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so. I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help do a work that is being left undone, and if this matter is given publicity, it will create a knowledge which would better be left as it is. I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do, and others to do.
I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake. Circumstances alter cases. I would not advise that anyone should make a practice of gathering up tithe money. But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe who have placed their tithe in my hands, and said that if I did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy ministers they could find. I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated.
I write this to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest many more shall follow their example. Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, #109

Interesting letter

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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2018, 08:59:24 PM »

Today I brought up the fact that how the tithe is used by leadership is never addressed and that it is our duty to hold leadership accountable. One elder said, " well, I believe that 99% of the leadership is serving God to the best of their ability." He is so far removed from what is happening in the church so as to be on his own little island. Another said that it is not our problem what leadership does with tithe. I replied that it is indeed our problem.

cp, how do those who think a holy tithe is being used properly when it supports two pastors who preach two opposing "gospels"?  Do they argue that this is not so? Of course not. It does not take a converted person to see two opposing doctrines. What, that is ok? Often both are heretical. But, that requires spiritual discernment to know which is correct, if either are. But, it does not require spiritual discernment to know both cannot be right when they contradict each other. Ask the two men if the other is correct. Neither will agree to this. Therefore, at least one is not the gospel, therefore, the tithe is being used to support a heretical "gospel."
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 7--1st Quarter 2018--Honesty With God
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2018, 09:19:06 PM »
Friday February 16
...we prove that something good can come out of a converted, sinful heart.

"a converted, sinful heart"? [oxymoron: "a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction"]

.......The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian's life is not a modification or improvement of the old life, but a transformation of the nature. There is a death to sin and self, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.—The Signs of the Times, March 8, 1910.

Amen, Brother Glen. We have sinful flesh until the second coming. But, the carnal heart of flesh is purified when we give the whole heart to Christ. It is indeed a new heart according to Scripture. It is no longer sinful as is the flesh.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.