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Notice the  statement in this weeks lesson on Sabbath, " Bible students differ on whether Romans 7 was Paul's experience before or after his conversion."

Compare the above with the statement on Sabbath of next week's lesson, Lesson 9.  " Paul was saying in Romans 7 that if you refuse to accept Jesus Christ the wretched experience of Romans 7 will be yours."

Does this not state here that the Romans 7 experience was one of "refusing to accept Jesus Christ." Surely according to their statement that puts the Romans 7 Paul in an unconverted state. It sounds like in this week's lesson they are saying we do not know which situation the Romans 7 Paul was in ( and it does not matter) but in Lesson 9 they are saying that the Romans 7 Paul had not accepted Jesus Christ. Or am I missing something ?

Good morning, Brother Glen.  The statement I made about the quotes is not addressed to the statements in the Spirit of Prophecy, but to the statements actually quoted in the lesson. Some who do not read the Spirit of Prophecy, may think what was written in the lesson, that which was quoted, was from the Spirit of Prophecy. It was not.

As for when Paul wrote Romans seven, it was after he was converted. He is describing the part of his conversion experience when he saw himself condemned and did not know Jesus as Savior. He was converted on the road to Damascus. It was the end of a long protracted process of wooing by the Holy Spirit. He had been fighting against the Holy Spirit for some time. He had been convicted of sin, and came to understand he was evil by nature and had no power to be set free from the law of sin and death within his flesh. It is then when he cried out for help as to who could deliver him.
Amen, Pastor Sean.  The trials ahead will not only "reveal the depth of the faith walk" we have, but will, as we abide in Christ, develop that faith ever stronger. This knowledge helps us to glory in our tribulation.

The priests feared the loss of their "authority."  What authority did God give to them? Was their authority greater than Jesus'? Was their authority greater than John the Baptist's? The position they held did indeed have authority. Kings were not allowed into the temple. Only the high priest was allowed into the Most Holy Place. The question of authority of pastors is today an issue in the church. Some now teach that all are kings and priests in their effort to make women leaders over men.  There is truth in this, but it does not do away with the organized church and it structure given to us by God. Elders in the church are charged with the spiritual well being of the local church. The pastor is to train the church leaders. Who has authority to select leaders? Who has authority to select new members? Who has the authority to make spiritual and business decisions in the church? It appears that the priests in Israel took more to themselves than God had given them.

The idea that they feared the loss of their authority to the Son of God is very revealing as to who they were fighting against. They were responsible for the destruction of a whole nation.

   The Sanhedrin feared, however, to take rash measures against Jesus, lest the people should become incensed, and the violence meditated toward Him should fall upon themselves. On this account the council delayed to execute the sentence they had pronounced. The Saviour understood the plotting of the priests. He knew that they longed to remove Him, and that their purpose would soon be accomplished. But it was not His place to hasten the crisis, and He withdrew from that region, taking the disciples with Him. Thus by His own example Jesus again enforced the instruction He had given to the disciples, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another." Matthew 10:23. There was a wide field in which to work for the salvation of souls; and unless loyalty to Him required it, the Lord's servants were not to imperil their lives.   

In order to provide a "safe" church for the multitude seeking truth, there will be a cleansing of the church. False shepherds will be removed when persecution comes upon the church. Let all who are tempted to discouragement understand that God knows the situation in His church and has made provision to bring about a revival and reformation in it. There will be a shaking and it will be brought about by the truth. It will separate the faithful from the unfaithful.

The authority given to church leaders by election is so that heresy is not brought into the church. There is a heavy responsibility resting upon church leaders. Many do not realize what will come upon them if they are not faithful when accepting these religious responsibilities. Let us pray for the pastors in God's church. It is hard for a church to rise above the spirituality of their pastor. What a solemn thought for all pastors to consider.
God answered his (Paul's) prayer as to "who" would deliver him from his evil body of death. Christ is the only One who can deliver us from self and sin.

Quote from: Richard
Be cautious. It may appear that Spirit of Prophecy is being quoted, but I don't think so.

3T 475 (quote in question)
In their gross darkness (many) view themselves with complacency; but let the law of God be revealed to their consciences, as it was to Paul, and they would see that they are sold under sin and must die to the carnal mind. Self must be slain.

The Saviour said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, margin. The idea that it is necessary only to develop the good that exists in man by nature, is a fatal deception. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” 1 Corinthians 2:14; John 3:7. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”—the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 1:4; Acts 4:12.

Steps to Christ p. 19 (quote in question)
It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, “I consent unto the law that it is good.” “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, “I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:16, 12, 14. He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
John 1:29.

Are we to believe that Saul asked the question of "who" BEFORE Christ met him on the road to Damascus?

I believe that when Paul sat down to write Romans 7, it was as an holy man of God 2 Peter 1:21, not a carnal man. It was only through the understanding that the Holy Spirit had given him that Paul could discern the truth of the condition of man while "in the flesh", ruled by the carnal mind. Paul explains earlier in 1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. He was describing the man who is yet carnal. Unless you would have me understand that Saul became Paul only when he began Romans Chapter 8.

Paul's comment, ...when we were in the flesh… Romans 7:5 has to do with the carnal mind where the passions, motives, etc., have the ascendancy, and rule over the man; not, the physical body: blood, bone, muscle, and brain (gray and white matter within the skull). The flesh of our bodies is not the same as acting "in the flesh" because of an unregenerate mind.
Amen, Pastor Sean. And the same applied to Jesus as He walked on this earth a Son of Man. He was secure as long as He did the will of His Father. It is an amazing truth that we need to understand. When we choose our own path, we are not secure. We must wait upon the Lord. It is His will, not our own that we want to follow. There is no safety in running ahead of Him.

     After waiting for two days, Jesus said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again." The disciples questioned why, if Jesus were going to Judea, He had waited two days. But anxiety for Christ and for themselves was now uppermost in their minds. They could see nothing but danger in the course He was about to pursue. "Master," they said, "the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day?" I am under the guidance of My Father; as long as I do His will, My life is safe. My twelve hours of day are not yet ended. I have entered upon the last remnant of My day; but while any of this remains, I am safe.   
     "If any man walk in the day," He continued, "he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." He who does the will of God, who walks in the path that God has marked out, cannot stumble and fall. The light of God's guiding Spirit gives him a clear perception of his duty, and leads him aright till the close of his work. "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." He who walks in a path of his own choosing, where God has not called him, will stumble. For him day is turned into night, and wherever he may be, he is not secure. 
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and it was unmistakably clear that Jesus had power over death as the Son of God, those who had been resisting the light of truth became united in their plots to put Jesus to death. I was struck by the similarity to the last days just before us. As God's people unmistakably reveal the loveliness of the character of Jesus testifying that the divine nature is at work in and through them by faith, persecution will be again kindled against God's people. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). We need not fear this, for Jesus imparts and imputes to us His righteousness to us as long as we are abiding in Him, and we have His Spirit reigning in our hearts, for "perfect love casteth out fear" 1 John 4:18. I appreciate that Jesus has pioneered the way before us, and when we see how the Sanhedrin council consented to put Jesus to death, we can realize that such movements are just before us prophetically with similar parallels. Let us look to Jesus so that we are not fearful, but faithful!

"Satan told them that in order to maintain their authority, they must put Jesus to death. This counsel they followed. The fact that they might lose the power they then exercised, was, they thought, sufficient reason for coming to some decision. With the exception of a few who dared not speak their minds, the Sanhedrin received the words of Caiaphas as the words of God. Relief came to the council; the discord ceased. They resolved to put Christ to death at the first favorable opportunity. In rejecting the proof of the divinity of Jesus, these priests and rulers had locked themselves in impenetrable darkness. They had come wholly under the sway of Satan, to be hurried by him over the brink of eternal ruin. Yet such was their deception that they were well pleased with themselves. They regarded themselves as patriots, who were seeking the nation's salvation." {The Desire of Ages, page 541, paragraph 1}

That last sentence jumped out at me: "They regarded themselves as patriots, who were seeking the nation's salvation." Will this not be repeated? When natural disasters increase and a cause is sought, there will be a little company who refuse to compromise with the church-state alliance (which will enforce the observance of the first day of the week in a national Sunday law). The "patriotic" church-state alliance will purport to help get everyone "back to God," but with it will come persecution against those who will not yield to violate one commandment of the Law of God. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). While the faithful few will hold fast to Jesus, the majority will see them as troublers. This has happened before! “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). As the Elijah message of our day calls people to repent, those who hold faithful to Christ will be regarded as troublers, and the ultimate consequence will be a final death decree against those who refuse to yield to break one precept of God's holy law because they love Jesus with all the heart. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Revelation 13:15-17 details this last-day scenario:  "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

However, such persecution will simply be the outworking of Satan's hatred against God's people by those who have been so deceived by consistently rejecting the light of truth. Let us yield today to all the light that shines upon our path and willingly surrender fully to Jesus, so that by a living faith in Him, He will reveal all of the fruits of His Spirit in and through us. The crisis ahead need not shake this experience, but only reveal the depth of the faith walk that we can each develop through appreciating Christ's character and being in communion with God at all times. 
Bread of Life / Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Last post by Richard Myers on November 19, 2017, 06:16:30 PM »
Lewis, good to see your post!  I think you present a truth. If more were truly converted, there would not be silence regarding the false teachings.

When Jim asked the question, the Holy Spirit touched my mind with an answer. It was different from that which I had always understood the verse to mean. It is a blessing to know that when we love God with the whole heart, and obey His teachings, we will see great light in the area of health reform. Thus, many of the diseases which the Egyptians suffered will not afflict us. But, when the Spirit touched my mind, it was not with this truth.

So, if we are good Bible students, where do we start in our study?
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--58--Lazarus, Come Forth
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on November 19, 2017, 09:15:49 AM »
I love beholding Jesus in His loveliness, how He raised Lazarus from the dead and how He promises to do that for all who fall asleep (die) before He returns in power and glory. I am also encouraged to realize that the same power that raised Lazarus is the same power by which we are enabled to walk in faith working by love as we become partakers of the divine nature.

John 11:41-44
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

"There is a stir in the silent tomb, and he who was dead stands at the door of the sepulcher. His movements are impeded by the graveclothes in which he was laid away, and Christ says to the astonished spectators, 'Loose him, and let him go.' Again they are shown that the human worker is to co-operate with God. Humanity is to work for humanity. Lazarus is set free, and stands before the company, not as one emaciated from disease, and with feeble, tottering limbs, but as a man in the prime of life, and in the vigor of a noble manhood. His eyes beam with intelligence and with love for his Saviour. He casts himself in adoration at the feet of Jesus." {The Desire of Ages, page 536, paragraph 3}

We can walk in the vigor of noble humanity when we are continual partakers of the divine nature--the nature that reveals all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. When we have Jesus reigning on the throne of our hearts, we are as surely spiritually alive as was Lazarus who was raised from the dead! Supernatural resurrection power is the power by which we are to live the life of faith! Hallelujah! I look forward to that great reunion day when the resurrection takes place, but I am so thankful that TODAY I get to live in the fullness of His life at work in my life by a continual surrender of my heart, mind, and will to Jesus moment by moment! This is a great adventure: to live in the grace and power of Jesus to the glory of God!
Bread of Life / Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Last post by colporteur on November 18, 2017, 06:02:44 PM »
I think Jim already gave the answer when comparing this to Pharoah. Like with Pharoah's heart God simply allowed nature to take its course without interrupting it.
Bread of Life / Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Last post by Lewis on November 18, 2017, 04:33:25 PM »
Here's a clue. False teachers will twist Scripture to deceive. How do they most often get away with this?

One reason why they get away with this is because many do not have a love for the truth and the daily and minute by minute connection with God is missing in their life.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 17:11
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