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"Often our plans fail that God's plans for us may succeed." {The Ministry of Healing, page 473, paragraph 3} This is clearly seen in the way Jesus has the crowd disperse after the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus does not tell them that their hope of crowning Him king is a false hope, but He does not allow what they are sure is a great plan. Sometimes God lets our plans fail so we can have His plans. And if we are struggling to accept His will, He often lets us pass through trial to teach us our great dependence on Him (as the disciples would keenly learn out on the lake in the great storm). Jesus knows how to reach our hearts--and all things work together for good to them that love God!

  "Jesus now commands the multitude to disperse; and His manner is so decisive that they dare not disobey. The words of praise and exaltation die on their lips. In the very act of advancing to seize Him their steps are stayed, and the glad, eager look fades from their countenances. In that throng are men of strong mind and firm determination; but the kingly bearing of Jesus, and His few quiet words of command, quell the tumult, and frustrate their designs. They recognize in Him a power above all earthly authority, and without a question they submit."  {The Desire of Ages, page 378, paragraph 4} 

When a decisive command came from Jesus, there was obedience. And this is the same Jesus who spoke gentle words of healing to the sinner. Christ's authority and firmness are no less an outflow of His love, for God's love is a perfect blend of mercy and justice. Submission to God is the best course--even when it crosses our own plans and ideas. After all, God is preparing us for heaven, and He desires first to have heaven in our hearts where reign all of the fruits of His Spirit without one missing, as we gladly follow in His way of obedience!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 14, 2018, 08:15:40 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine! I was drawn to the same paragraph!!

When we realize that through a full surrender to our lovely Jesus we are simply a channel of His blessing to others, we have great joy in seeing how He can use us to bless and help others heavenward! There is nothing good in us by nature, but when Christ abides in us by a living faith, He imbues us with His Spirit so that not one of the traits of the divine nature is missing (Galatians 5:22-23) because He has imputed His righteousness to us! What a joy it is to be dependent upon Christ who will never fail to supply our need to impart to others, and to keep us growing in this experience!!

"The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting." {The Desire of Ages, page 370, paragraph 1}   

I have heard the phrase "you cannot outgive God." And this promise we just read shows us why--because imparting means that God entrusts us with more! The person that I spend time with sharing the gospel of His grace with will in turn reach others, and there is far more blessing in seeing others converted and transformed than merely retaining a blessing for ourselves. In fact, if we truly receive anything from Christ as He would have us receive it, then we receive it with a continual prayer of "how may this be used to glorify Thy name, Abba?" When we are like little children waiting to be led and taught how to share what He has given us, we will keep growing in character manifest in a richer and more abundant expression of all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! All of God's gifts in Christ are infinite!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Last post by Dorine on October 14, 2018, 08:02:21 AM »
The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.   

What a profound thought. This means so much to me this morning. I can not say this any clearer or better than what has been written. My bible is full of quotes that are special to me and this is one more to add to it. Those who feel depressed or have lost their vision of service for God will find great joy and healing in following this plan.
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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: John 17:1-26, 1 John 5:19, John 13:18-30, John 5:20-23, Mark 9:38-41, Rev. 18:4, 1 John 2:3-6.

Memory Text: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:20, 21.

The Gospel of John provides us with a window into Jesus’ immediate concerns as His betrayal and death loomed on the horizon. In five crucial chapters (John 13-17) we receive Jesus’ last words of instruction, culminating with what has sometimes been called His “high-priestly prayer” (John 17).

“It is a fitting designation, for our Lord in this prayer consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim. At the same time it is a prayer of consecration on behalf of those for whom the sacrifice is offered-the disciples who were present in the upper room and those who would subsequently come to faith through their testimony.” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

Thinking about the disunity in the church and this statement by Mr. Bruce, and the verses being quoted, it is very clear that we are considering God's desire for His church to be abiding in Christ, as Christ was abiding in His Father. This is the only way to have Christian unity. Without Christ we are divided from those who have Jesus in the heart. To say the sinner has Christ in the heart is to lie just as did Satan when he told Eve she would not die if she sinned against God. Yet, this is the most common teaching in the church and in other denominations. Listen to the mis-translation of Romans 8:1 in many modern day bibles. "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." New American Standard Version. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," New International Version.

Satan is clever. This "Evangelical" translation is one of the most common quotes heard in professing Protestant denominations. Yes, they believe they have Christ "in" them when Christ is not in them. The KJV speaks the whole truth that keeps one from believing this lie if they will walk in the light God gives.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." KJV. When one sins a known sin, he is under condemnation and does not have Christ abiding in the heart, neither are they abiding in Christ.


At the core of this prayer is Jesus’ concern for unity among His disciples and those who would later believe in Him. This was a key theme in His prayer: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” John 17:9, 10.

No meaningful discussion of church unity, of our oneness in Christ, can be complete without careful attention given to this prayer. What did Jesus pray for, whom did He pray for, and what does His prayer mean for us today?

"That they may be one" is Jesus telling how it is that we will be one in the church. We cannot force others to love as Jesus loves. We cannot say obey and expect the church will obey. Jesus is telling us that if we want unity in the church, if we are going to walk together then we need to believe the same truth. We cannot walk together unless we be agreed on our fundamental beliefs?   "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3. No. How can we come into agreement? Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14.

In other words, if we are not walking in the light of His Spirit, we shall not be able to be in unity with those who are. We must do as did our Lord and Savior and become partakers of the divine nature. We must abide in Christ by allowing Him to live in our hearts. We must love Him with all of the heart holding nothing back.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 20.
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You've got it, Brother Glen.  I have not been willing to share such straight truth since many cannot bear to hear it. But, we are nearing the end and it is time to make the simplicity of the gospel perfectly clear that those seeking truth may know it.


Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection. The Sanctified Life p. 85.1


...if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.  Lift Him Up, p. 178.5

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10


Christ’s life represents a perfect manhood. Just that which you may be, He was in human nature. Lt 106, 1896 (June 26, 1896) par. 18

When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but in the heart of him who is susceptible to the influences of heaven. Reflecting Christ p. 107.3

Christ is soon to come, and no soul should stand in a position where he will say in word or action, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Christ's true followers will represent Him in character. Lt 131, 1900 (October 14, 1900) par. 8

I came to this conclusion 30 years ago, but none were able to bear hearing it. "Christ does not abide in the heat of the sinner." To say he does is to speak a lie such as Satan did in the garden. May we continually behold Jesus that we may abide in Him continually and He in us. Thus the title of this week's lesson "Causes of Disunity" can be answered simply by stating that it is from rejecting Christ's plea to come into the heart. Sin, one little known sin separates the soul from Christ and it is impossible to be in unity with those who are fully surrendered to Christ until brought to repentance by the grace of God.
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The present testimony of the heavenly Witness to many today, is "...I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." Revelation 3:1

There are some in Hollywood; however unknowingly, are a living parable of dying the death of the lost. -No less, is this true among God's Church, today.

We want life, we want eternal life in the kingdom of glory, everlasting life. Christ came to die for us. He left the royal courts. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might approach humanity and educate humanity to lay hold of His divinity, so that they might be partakers of the divine nature having overcome, what? The evil dispositions. The temptations that are in the world through lust. Ms 118, 1909 (June 27, 1909) par. 11

Some of us act just as though there was not any devil at all. As though there was not one seeking for the mastery with all his powers, and with all his being, as he looks forward to the time when the resurrection of the unjust shall come forth. Then he will rally his army. He hopes to gain the victory over the world at last. But we know better than that. We know that if there were but ten righteous men upon the earth, those ten would have a living connection with a living God. Ms 118, 1909 (June 27, 1909) par. 12

We want life, we want eternal life in the kingdom of glory, everlasting life. Christ came to die for us. He left the royal courts. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might approach humanity and educate humanity to lay hold of His divinity, so that they might be partakers of the divine nature having overcome, what? The evil dispositions. The temptations that are in the world through lust.
Ms 118, 1909 (June 27, 1909) par. 11

Some of us act just as though there was not any devil at all. As though there was not one seeking for the mastery with all his powers, and with all his being, as he looks forward to the time when the resurrection of the unjust shall come forth. Then he will rally his army. He hopes to gain the victory over the world at last. But we know better than that. We know that if there were but ten righteous men upon the earth, those ten would have a living connection with a living God.
Ms 118, 1909 (June 27, 1909) par. 12

He [the believer] may die, as Christ died, but the life of the Saviour is in him. His life is hid with Christ in God. “I am come that they might have life,” Jesus said, “and that they might have it more abundantly.” He carries on the great process by which believers are made one with Him in this present life, to be one with Him throughout all eternity.… Maranatha, p. 301.4

At the last day He will raise them as a part of Himself.... Christ became one with us in order that we might become one with Him in divinity. Maranatha, p. 301.5
 
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Its interesting that in this weeks lesson there is a most interesting segment of verses. Jer. 3:14-15. Can we somehow uses these verses to address any issues ?

Jeremiah 3:13-15
Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.



Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people.
Testimonies for the Church 5:160.

Their history should be a solemn warning to us. We need never expect that when the Lord has light for his people, Satan will stand calmly by and make no effort to prevent them from receiving it. Let us beware that we do not refuse the light God sends, because it does not come in a way to please us.... If there are any who do not see and accept the light themselves, let them not stand in the way of others. Testimonies for the Church 5:728.

The serpent declared to Eve, Ye shall not surely die... Genesis 3:4 Had Eve not strayed in her thoughts from the word of God, the plain admonition of her Creator, she wouldn't have strayed from the plain path of obedience. It was her disaffection and subsequent disobedience; thus, this imperfection,  that derailed her unity with God. Her disobedience was her death, or separation from God, Who is life eternal. ...our Lord Jesus Christ...who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords...Who only hath immortality...to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:14-16

God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5


Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection. The Sanctified Life p. 85.1

Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,—to the true glory and dignity of man. The Desire of Ages 466.5

Strong's Concordance: to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:3

Hebrews 6:
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.


One's lack of "subjection to God" defies God's intent in creating mankind. God's righteousness is His character, His very life.


...if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.  Lift Him Up, p. 178.5

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10


[Christ] declares, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me” [John 6:57]. This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” [verse 40]. Christ became one with us in humanity in order that we might become one with Him in life everlasting. Thus our life is united with His life. He proclaimed over the rent sepulchre of Joseph, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Lt 131, 1900 (October 14, 1900) par. 9

Christ’s life represents a perfect manhood. Just that which you may be, He was in human nature. Lt 106, 1896 (June 26, 1896) par. 18

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

When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but in the heart of him who is susceptible to the influences of heaven. Reflecting Christ p. 107.3

Christ is soon to come, and no soul should stand in a position where he will say in word or action, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Christ's true followers will represent Him in character. They turn aside from worldly policy and are being trained for everyday service in the cause of God. In active service they find peace and hope, efficiency and power. They are conscious that they are breathing the breath of heaven, the only atmosphere in which the soul can live. By obedience they are made partakers of the divine nature. The doing of the living principles of the law of God makes them one with Christ. And He has pledged Himself to raise them up at the last day. Because He lives they will live also. He will raise them up as a part of Himself.
Lt 131, 1900 (October 14, 1900) par. 8


For in him we live, and move, and have our being... Acts 17:28

Outside of Christ, we die and cease to exist.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Last post by Dorine on October 13, 2018, 05:02:38 AM »
"Come ye yourselves apart," He bids us. If we would give heed to His word, we should be stronger and more useful. The disciples sought Jesus, and told Him all things; and He encouraged and instructed them. If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed; He would be at our right hand to help us. We need more simplicity, more trust and confidence in our Saviour. He whose name is called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;" He of whom it is written, "The government shall be upon His shoulder," is the Wonderful Counselor. We are invited to ask wisdom of Him. He "giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." Isaiah 9:6; James 1:5. 

As we all come apart this Sabbath day may we take to heart the words and counsel in this chapter. They bring such calm to the soul as we are reminded again of the everlasting love of Jesus. He wants the very best for us physically, mentally and spiritually but too often we put road blocks in His way because we choose our own desires. May we silence all other 'voices' today that we may hear the clear voice of Jesus speaking to us.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 13, 2018, 03:19:03 AM »
"In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy." {The Desire of Ages, page 362, paragraph 4}

We get to come aside with Jesus and experience the comfort and joy in His presence this Sabbath. As we look to Him and yield fully to Him, His peace that passes understanding, His love and joy and peace (with all of the fruits of the Spirit) will animate our lives and encourage us for what God has for us next in His perfect will. What a joy to know we have a Savior who understands our need to come aside and rest--to have unbroken communion with our Father in heaven. This experience is the greatest education and the highest method of development.
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Thursday ↥         October 18

One Faith Shared in Love

In John 17:3, Jesus said that eternal life is to know God. Read 1 John 2:3-6. What does it mean to know God? How do we demonstrate our knowledge of God in our daily lives?

Generally, while people in society today wish to call themselves law-abiding citizens, these same people often will downplay the biblical obligation to keep the commandments of God. Some even argue that God’s grace does away with God’s commandments. But that is not the biblical teaching: “Keeping the commandments is not a condition for knowing God but a sign that we know God/Jesus and love Him. Therefore, knowledge of God is not just theoretical knowledge but leads to action.” - Ekkehardt Mueller, The Letters of John (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press, 2009), p. 39. Jesus Himself emphasized: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:15, 21, NKJV). “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2, 3, NKJV).

Read John 13:34, 35. What new commandment did Jesus give His disciples, and how does this relate to the idea of unity among Jesus’ followers?

The command to love one’s neighbor was not new in itself; it can be found in the instructions God gave Moses (Lev. 19:18). What is new is Jesus’ command for His disciples to love one another as He has loved them. Jesus’ example of self-sacrificial love is the new ethic for the Christian community.

What a wonderful standard has been set before us! Jesus’ life had been a practical demonstration of love in action. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. We can imagine that Christ’s life was an unceasing manifestation of love and self-sacrifice for the good of others. The principle that actuated Christ should actuate His people in all their dealing with one another. What a powerful witness such love would be to the world. And what a powerful force for unity among us such love would provide, as well.

How can we learn to reveal the kind of self-sacrificing love for others that Jesus had revealed?

Friday ↥         October 19

Further Thought: Ellen G. White, “God’s Law Immutable”, pp. 443-446, in The Great Controversy. Read the articles “Denominations, Relations to Other”, pp. 763, 764, and “Roman Catholic Church”, p. 1110, in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia.

“Although the Seventh-day Adventist church is a worldwide church with many local churches, Adventists do not claim to be Christ’s universal church. The universal church is broader than any denomination. It is visible and invisible insofar as it consists of those who believe in Jesus and follow him. This particular theological issue is heightened if we take into consideration apostasy among Christians, addressed poignantly in the Book of Revelation. The pure church of Revelation 12 is contrasted with the ‘harlot’ of Revelation 17, Babylon the great city, which in turn is contrasted with the bride of the Lamb, the holy city or the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22. In the first century, the universal church may have been quite visible, it is much more difficult and complex to see it, for instance, during the Medieval Ages.

Therefore, Adventists do not limit the concept of God’s true church to their own denomination, nor do they automatically extend it to other Christian churches. God’s true church consists of those individuals who truly believe in [H]im. God knows them. Adventists, on the other hand, claim that they are God’s special visible end-time remnant of Revelation 12:17 and chapters 12-14. This remnant has a local as well as a universal character (Rev. 2:24 and 12:17).” - Ekkehardt Mueller, “The Universality of the Church in the New Testament”, in Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, ed., and Message, Mission, and Unity of the Church (Silver Spring, Md.: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2013), p. 37.

Discussion Questions:

    Why is the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 so important for our church? What does Jesus’ desire for the unity of the first-century church reveal about His desire for our church today?

    Has your local church worked with other Christians on certain issues? How well did that go? How can we work with them, when appropriate, without compromising any of the truths that we have been given?

    What are the implications of this statement in The Great Controversy? How can we make this real among us? “If God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ ‘There is,’ he says, ‘one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ Ephesians 4:3-5.” - Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 379.

Summary: Jesus’ high-priestly prayer in John 17 is a reminder that Jesus still is concerned about church unity today. His prayer should be our prayer, and we should seek ways to solidify our faith in God’s Word. Love for one another also should characterize our relationships to everyone, including other Christians, whatever our theological differences may be.
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