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Jesus loves us and invites us to follow God's word in our everyday lives. When we surrender fully to Him, He imputes His righteousness to us, cleansing our past record of sin, and imparts His righteousness to us, empowering us through the Holy Spirit to obey God from a heart overflowing with love. May we live out the life of love Christ invites us to experience remembering that all His biddings are enablings!

"'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.' In these words Christ again condemns the abuse of sacred obligation. The obligation itself He does not set aside. The tithing system was ordained by God, and it had been observed from the earliest times. Abraham, the father of the faithful, paid tithes of all that he possessed. The Jewish rulers recognized the obligation of tithing, and this was right; but they did not leave the people to carry out their own convictions of duty. Arbitrary rules were laid down for every case. The requirements had become so complicated that it was impossible for them to be fulfilled. None knew when their obligations were met. As God gave it, the system was just and reasonable; but the priests and rabbis had made it a wearisome burden." {The Desire of Ages, page 616, paragraph 3}

God does not call us to a complicated, wearisome experience. He gives us clear and beautiful truth so each of us can follow God according to the convictions the Holy Spirit has brought to us from God's word. Let us praise God that Jesus loved the people enough in His day to rebuke sin and unmask the deceptions that were making it hard to be saved. Let us ask that Jesus will teach us our duty, which we delight to fulfill when He abides in our hearts by faith, shedding forth the light of a cheerful piety evinced by all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! Praise God for all Jesus is to us! 
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--66--Controversy
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 20, 2018, 10:21:02 AM »
Amen, Richard and Dorine!

We see controversy many times, but we see in Christ how to meet it. He is our Savior and Example! Praise God!

I was blessed today to appreciate how God sees the big picture! We can take courage in Him!

“Christ declared to His hearers that if there were no resurrection of the dead, the Scriptures which they professed to believe would be of no avail. He said, ‘But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ God counts the things that are not as though they were. He sees the end from the beginning, and beholds the result of His work as though it were now accomplished. The precious dead, from Adam down to the last saint who dies, will hear the voice of the Son of God, and will come forth from the grave to immortal life. God will be their God, and they shall be His people. There will be a close and tender relationship between God and the risen saints. This condition, which is anticipated in His purpose, He beholds as if it were already existing. The dead live unto Him.”– {The Desire of Ages, page 606, paragraph 1}
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--66--Controversy
« Last post by Dorine on May 20, 2018, 07:41:00 AM »
As I sit at the feet of Jesus this morning watching, and listening to his interaction with his enemies, I am saddened because I am seeing and hearing the same unbelief among our people today that Jesus had to contend with. There are many who have a 'better' way than Jesus and yet they are the first ones to say it's all about Jesus.

I pray for the spirit of Jesus when being challenged by those who believe differently. They love to confuse, disrupt, shed doubt and draw attention to their intelligence. The positive side to the situation is that it should keep us on our knees and in our bibles so that we can be a spokesperson for truth without being argumentative. Jesus has such a beautiful spirit and I want to emulate it always. As we behold Him each day His spirit will become ours and we will have the love and pity for the lost that He has. Thank you Jesus.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--66--Controversy
« Last post by Richard Myers on May 20, 2018, 07:36:16 AM »
The gospel of grace transforms the life when one is truly converted. There is no sin when Christ has possession of the heart. We do not break one commandment and retain salvation. The principle is simple and easy to understand. In today's reading we see why.

     The lawyer approached Jesus with a direct question, "Which is the first commandment of all?" The answer of Christ is direct and forcible: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." The second is like the first, said Christ; for it flows out of it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
     The first four of the Ten Commandments are summed up in the one great precept, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." The last six are included in the other, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Both these commandments are an expression of the principle of love. The first cannot be kept and the second broken, nor can the second be kept while the first is broken. When God has His rightful place on the throne of the heart, the right place will be given to our neighbor. We shall love him as ourselves. And only as we love God supremely is it possible to love our neighbor impartially.   
     And since all the commandments are summed up in love to God and man, it follows that not one precept can be broken without violating this principle
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Sunday •  May 20

The Universality of the Gospel

Read Revelation 14:6, Matthew 24:14, 28:19.

Revelation 14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 

 24:14   And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 
 28:19   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 


What is the similar theme found in these texts? How do these texts together help us understand how important outreach and witness are to our purpose as a church?

"Our witness."  The priests were types of Christ. They so misrepresented Christ and the plan of salvation that a whole nation was lost. They put to death their Messiah. Are we doing any better? Do we understand the "everlasting gospel"? What is it? What is the promise made in Genesis 3:15? Why do we not hear of the promise to us in this verse? How can we take the three angels message to the world if we do not know it or live it? We can't. What is the "Evangelical" gospel? Has it come into God's church? How did it happen?


In a sense, one can say that the first angel’s message is the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) now given in the context of the last days. It is, indeed, “present truth”. 

Yes, it is. And the "everlasting covenant" has always been "present truth." What is the "everlasting covenant"?

Notice that all three texts place an emphasis on outreach to all the world, to “all the nations”, and to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people”. In other words, this message is universal in scope. Every person needs to hear it.

Read Galatians 3:22.

 3:22   But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 


What does this text say that helps us understand why all the world needs to hear the gospel?

We are evil by nature and need to become partakers of God's divine nature in order to be fit for heaven. If we are not changed in character, what would heaven be like if we got in?


The universality of sin explains the universality of our mission and calling. “Every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” has done wrong, has violated God’s law, and has been “confined under sin”. Adam’s fall in Eden has impacted every human being; no nation or tribe or people has been immune. We all face the immediate consequences of sin, and unless a remedy was provided, we all would face the ultimate consequence: eternal death.

That remedy, of course, has been provided: the life, death, resurrection, and heavenly sanctuary ministry of Jesus, who is the only solution to the sin problem. Everyone needs to know the great hope of what God has offered them in Jesus Christ. This is why Seventh-day Adventists have gone throughout all the world, seeking to bring the message of Jesus to those who have not yet heard it.

Why is spreading the gospel message to others so spiritually beneficial for those doing it? That is, why is reaching out to others one of the best ways to be prepared for the coming of Jesus?

Those who are truly converted (saved), live to bless others. We are His witnesses that God is not only love, but He has power to change all who will come to Him just as they are. When we reflect Christ, we are His reward for all He suffered on this dark spot in the universe. When we call ourselves Christians and misrepresent Him, what does that do to those who are hearing us preach the gospel message?
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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 14:6, 7; Matt. 24:14; Gal. 3:22; Luke 23:32-43; Gen. 22:12; Rev. 14:8-12.

Memory Text: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6

As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we believe in the biblical concept of “present truth” (2 Pet. 1:12). It’s basically the idea that God unfolds truth to humanity at the time it is needed, with more and more light being given by the Lord over the ages. The first gospel promise, in Genesis 3:15, revealed to the fallen pair that hope would come through the seed of the woman. The promise to Abraham, that he “shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him” (Gen. 18:18, NKJV), is a fuller revelation of the gospel promise. The coming of Jesus, who proclaimed that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, NKJV), is, of course, an even greater revelation of the gospel truth.

Today we believe that the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12 is “present truth” for those living in the last days prior to Christ’s return and the fulfillment of all our hopes as Christians.

This week, we will focus particularly on the first angel’s message, for it contains truths crucial for those who seek to stay faithful amid end-time perils.

It would be good to not only focus on the first angel's message, but to understand that we are still here because we have not taken the gospel to the world. The lesson brings up the first gospel promise. "The first gospel promise, in Genesis 3:15, revealed to the fallen pair that hope would come through the seed of the woman." Would one of our Bible scholars tell us what that gospel promise was? Many do not know. Yet it is the foundation of our faith.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 26.

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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--65--The Temple Cleansed Again
« Last post by Richard Myers on May 19, 2018, 12:21:39 PM »
Amen Sister Dorine.  What a contrast!  There is another contrast presented in today's reading. The character revealed in the priests as that seen in Christ. They were to be types of Christ, but misled the people. They were not reflections of Jesus.

I like so much how Jesus revealed wisdom in helping them to see their condition. He did not mean to humiliate them, but he did want them and the people to see the character and error of the priests.

     Repairing to the temple where He was teaching, they proceeded to question Him: "By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority?" They expected Him to claim that His authority was from God. Such an assertion they intended to deny. But Jesus met them with a question apparently pertaining to another subject, and He made His reply to them conditional on their answering this question. "The baptism of John," He said, "whence was it? from heaven, or of men?"
     The priests saw that they were in a dilemma from which no sophistry could extricate them. If they said that John's baptism was from heaven, their inconsistency would be made apparent. Christ would say, Why have ye not then believed on him? John had testified of Christ, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. If the priests believed John's testimony, how could they deny the Messiahship of Christ? If they declared their real belief, that John's ministry was of men, they would bring upon themselves a storm of indignation; for the people believed John to be a prophet.
     With intense interest the multitude awaited the decision. They knew that the priests had professed to accept the ministry of John, and they expected them to acknowledge without a question that he was sent from God. But after conferring secretly together, the priests decided not to commit themselves. Hypocritically professing ignorance, they said, "We cannot tell." "Neither tell I you," said Christ, "by what authority I do these things."   
     Scribes, priests, and rulers were all silenced. Baffled and disappointed, they stood with lowering brows, not daring to press further questions upon Christ. By their cowardice and indecision they had in a great measure forfeited the respect of the people, who now stood by, amused to see these proud, self-righteous men defeated.   
     All these sayings and doings of Christ were important, and their influence was to be felt in an ever-increasing degree after His crucifixion and ascension. Many of those who had anxiously awaited the result of the questioning of Jesus were finally to become His disciples, first drawn toward Him by His words on that eventful day. The scene in the temple court was never to fade from their minds. The contrast between Jesus and the high priest as they talked together was marked. The proud dignitary of the temple was clothed in rich and costly garments. Upon his head was a glittering tiara. His bearing was majestic, his hair and his long flowing beard were silvered by age. His appearance awed the beholders. Before this august personage stood the Majesty of heaven, without adornment or display. His garments were travel stained; His face was pale, and expressed a patient sadness; yet written there were dignity and benevolence that contrasted strangely with the proud, self-confident, and angry air of the high priest. Many of those who witnessed the words and deeds of Jesus in the temple from that time enshrined Him in their hearts as a prophet of God. But as the popular feeling turned in His favor, the hatred of the priests toward Jesus increased. The wisdom by which He escaped the snares set for His feet, being a new evidence of His divinity, added fuel to their wrath.
     In His contest with the rabbis, it was not Christ's purpose to humiliate His opponents. He was not glad to see them in a hard place. He had an important lesson to teach. He had mortified His enemies by allowing them to be entangled in the net they had spread for Him. Their acknowledged ignorance in regard to the character of John's baptism gave Him an opportunity to speak, and He improved the opportunity by presenting before them their real position, adding another warning to the many already given. 


Such a simple and powerful response to their attempt to entrap Jesus!
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Not all in the church are in a Laodicean (deceived) condition. Why are some not deceived? How is it that we can escape the deceptions revealed in the message to the Laodicean Church? Is the answer given in the message from Christ? And that message is the very same message given to Nicodemus in the Garden.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

2 Samuel 22:30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Joshua 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
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Can someone tell us what it means to not have a Mediator, and how it is that we can come to such a point?

First, I would say that the sure way "to not have a Mediator", and the "how", is to remain indifferent to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our salvation from sin|sinning, and continue to sin. -But that isn't the point of your question.

1 John 3:5 And ye know that he [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

1 John 2
1 My little children, these things write I unto you,  that   ye   sin   not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.


When Eve listened to, contemplated, then received the words of the Serpent in contradiction to the word of her Creator, subsequently acting on the word of the Serpent, she immediately needed an Advocate or Mediator, to be brought back into harmony with God, as she was then separated from the will of God the Father. The Mediator immediately declares to Satan, thus assuring Eve His divine promise, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed... Genesis 3:15".

I believe that we can conclude from 1 John 2:1-4, that those who receive Christ as Saviour, cease to sin; and only thus, come to not need a mediator, an "advocate with the Father", as they have become one in purpose with the Godhead.
" hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. vs. 3"

John 17:21 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 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Romans 8:9 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.

Revelation 14:
3 ...the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 ...are they which...follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.


When Christ indwells the sanctuary, or temple of the soul of the Believer, there remains no sin to be forgiven or mediated in the Heavenly Sanctuary before Christ's return, while Christ in you, the hope of glory Colossians 1:27 or, Christ's intimate presence through His Spirit, with His Bride, continues for eternity.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--65--The Temple Cleansed Again
« Last post by Dorine on May 19, 2018, 05:18:05 AM »
"The outer court of the temple was like a vast cattle yard. With the cries of the animals and the sharp chinking of coin was mingled the sound of angry altercation between traffickers, and among them were heard the voices of men in sacred office."

Compare this setting to the following.

"The sound of these happy, unrestrained voices was an offense to the rulers of the temple. They set about putting a stop to such demonstrations. They represented to the people that the house of God was desecrated by the feet of the children and the shouts of rejoicing."

Being blind and not able to see through our eyes is one thing but being blind in heart is quite another.  When our eyes do not see, we still have other senses to rely on but continual, willful blindness of heart closes all avenues for the Holy Spirit to work. What a fearful condition to be found in.  But what a beautiful picture of  Jesus sitting with the children, blessing them, listening to their praises, some falling asleep in His arms, as He brings comfort and hope and healing  to all who are there.  That's the group I want to be in. I love my Jesus. There is joy and peace in His presence.
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