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 The NAD is following the churches of Babylon.
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Monday •  May 21

The Thief on the Cross and the “Everlasting Gospel”


In Revelation 14:6, the message to be proclaimed to the world is “the everlasting gospel”. It’s a message of hope for people in a world that, in and of itself, offers no hope at all.

Amen! When Adam sinned, there was no hope. But, while still in the Garden, Jesus uttered the words "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." Genesis 3:15. There was none when Christ spoke these words in the hearing of Adam. Not all will receive this enmity towards Satan and sin. Unless reconciled with God, man remains at enmity with God and the truth. How often do we hear this? How many understand the foundation of our faith? Sadly, many think they are saved when in fact they are not. They do not hate sin enough to quit sinning. The promise of enmity towards sin is fulfilled when we love Jesus with all we are and all we have. When we surrender self to Him, we then are filled with love for God and love for man, even our enemy. I pray that the lesson speaks this plainly of the power of grace to transform the life at conversion.

Did the thief on the cross love Jesus supremely? Was he converted on the cross? Were his motives then perfect? Was there more needed for him to enter heaven? He was a "baby" Christian, but was his moral character perfect? Did he sin on the cross after conversion? Was he tempted beyond what he could bear? Was he a partaker of God's divine nature while hanging on the cross?  Did he hate sin before he died?


Read Luke 23:32-43.

 23:32   And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 
 23:33   And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 
 23:34   Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 
 23:35   And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided [him], saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 
 23:36   And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 
 23:37   And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 
 23:38   And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 
 23:39   And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 
 23:40   But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 
 23:41   And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 
 23:42   And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 
 23:43   And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee to day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 


How does this story reveal the great hope of the “everlasting gospel” for all sinners?

Death bed conversions are rare. But, here we read of one such conversion. The thief was transformed in character and Jesus tells us that he will be in heaven.


Writing about the thief, Ellen G. White said that though not a hardened criminal, he had been “seeking to stifle conviction” about Jesus, and so “had plunged deeper and deeper into sin, until he was arrested, tried as a criminal, and condemned to die on the cross”. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages , p. 749.

Yet, what happened to him? As he hung on the cross, the thief got a glimpse of who Jesus was, and so he cried out: “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Luke 23:42 .

And how did Jesus respond? Did He say: Well, friend, I’d like to help you, but you should have not stifled your convictions by plunging deeper and deeper into sin? Did Jesus quote one of His earlier sermons: “except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:20. Did Jesus, in any way, bring up the thief’s past mistakes?

No. Instead, Jesus turned to this criminal, this thief with a faulty character who had nothing to offer in the way of righteousness and who earlier had been cursing him (Matt. 27:44) . Seeing him as a new man, Jesus said (basically): I am telling you, right now, I am giving you the assurance, right now, that your sin, your crimes, your faults, are forgiven, and thus “thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

"A faulty character"? What does this mean? Does it mean the thief was not sorry for his past sins? Does it mean he was not repentant? Does it mean he was not changed in character? Was he not in a converted state when Jesus told him he would be in heaven? Was there yet something he needed to do in order to enter heaven? Or, was he the same man he was when he was hung on the cross? If he was changed, what changed him? And if he was changed, what was changed if not his character? How important are these questions and the answers to them? Do we want to leave church members in an unconverted state, believing they are rich and increased with goods, when in fact they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, blind, and naked? If we believe the thief on the cross was not transformed in character when he loved Jesus with the whole heart, then we are in great danger of being lost. He was indeed repentant for his past sins, therefore he was converted when Jesus told him he would be in heaven. He was a changed man, he was converted, self was dead and he was a new creature in Christ.

Was there still room to grow in character? Absolutely? There are many converted Christians who do not keep the Sabbath. There are many converted Christians who eat the wrong food. But, there are no converted Christians who have not been changed in moral character. All converted Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit and manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, not one of these is missing. This moral character is not faulty. It is perfect, yet there is still room to grow.


Here is the “everlasting gospel”, the foundation of the first angel’s message. Without this truth, nothing else we teach about the law, the Sabbath, or the state of the dead matters. What good are these teachings without the “everlasting gospel” at the heart of them all?

What is the "everlasting gospel" being taught here? Was the thief transformed in character or not? Was self dead? Was he "perfect" in his motives? What does Genesis 3:15 promise to all who love Jesus supremely?  Will the converted Christian be tempted beyond what he can bear? No, not according to Scripture. Then he has been transformed in character, has he not?


What hope can you take for yourself from this story?

It is not an assurance of salvation unless we have turned from sin unto Christ. If we are not truly repentant, then we have no salvation. If we do not love Jesus with the whole heart, then we are not converted. If we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, then we have no salvation. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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 8:5-9.

Are we walking in the Spirit, or in the flesh? Is there a difference in character between the two?
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Why not? This has been their intent all along. They are in rebellion against the church and Scripture. They are indeed making women leaders over men. They reject the decisions made by the world church. This is outright rebellion. But, it is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. God allows this that a sleeping church might awaken to the real problem, its Laodicean condition in which most are not in a converted state (lost).

We are in a worse condition today than the church in 1888 when it rejected the gospel truth and blocked the coming of Christ.
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Amen, dear Sister. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, IF we will abide in Him and He in us.  We only have to wait a very short time before we see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory. He is even at the doors!

Jesus wants to come more than we want Him to come. It is not easy for God to watch the suffering in this world. Why has Jesus not come yet? We are told. It is because we have not done that which has been entrusted to us. We have not taken the gospel to the world. Instead we as a people have perverted the gospel truth.  Who has not heard contradicting truth being preached from pulpits and printed on presses? Many do not want to hear this truth. But, until we acknowledge this and correct the teaching, we shall continue to delay His second coming.

     In the prophecy of Jerusalem's destruction Christ said, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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." This prophecy will again be fulfilled. The abounding iniquity of that day finds its counterpart in this generation. So with the prediction in regard to the preaching of the gospel. Before the fall of Jerusalem, Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declared that the gospel was preached to "every creature which is under heaven." Colossians 1:23. So now, before the coming of the Son of man, the everlasting gospel is to be preached "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Revelation 14:6, 14. God "hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world." Acts 17:31. Christ tells us when that day shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will be converted, but that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory. 


Let us hasten the coming of Christ. Let us not only teach the gospel, but live it. There are multitudes seeking truth. The harvest field is white and ready for the harvest!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--69--On the Mount of Olives
« Last post by Dorine on Today at 07:45:03 AM »
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." 

God always has a way of escape for those who believe and obey Him. May we never be pulled in by the culture that surrounds us. God is looking for a people that will reflect and vindicate His character. I cling by faith in Jesus this morning in His promises to help us live for Him through any and all circumstances.
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Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord's appearing. Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. Few believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win.  {The Desire of Ages, page 636, paragraph 1}

May we choose to come close to Christ and receive the Holy Spirit by responding to His leading in these last days!


 
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We continue to report on the actions taken by the General Conference, and the actions of those in rebellion. We now choose to post in this thread an action taken by leadership in the church, most pointedly, leaders in unions in four rebellious divisions.

Didn't see this latest news on the forum so not sure if you folk have seen it.

http://adventmessenger.org/adventist-leadership-in-north-america-wants-to-see-1000-new-women-pastors/

Is this an authentic report?  If it is then this has become more than mere "acceptance" of women desiring to be pastors, but an active plan to largely increase women pastors.

Quoting from Fulcrum:

"Alex Bryant revealed he is head of very special project in the NAD.  He clearly supports WO and stated he disagrees with our world church.  He affirmed there were three no’s from the world church.  "So we respect the world vote"under Dan Jackson’s leadership, we have created a “building block” of female ministry.  Here it is:  The NAD will 1) double the number of women pastors from 107 to 214 over 5 yrs.  We at the NAD incentivize local conferences by paying 3 years of salary for women pastors!  The “no vote” only says you can’t ordain as pastors.  We can still hire and make women pastors as ordained elders."  Yearly, the NAD is spending $450,000 / year to pay for women pastors.  He stated that 44 a year are being salary subsidized at this point.  Jackson and Bryant then indicated that when we get from 500 – 1000 women pastors in the NAD, then the rest of the world church will change their ideas.  Both leaders reaffirmed that they don’t agree with the world church at all.  Jackson said in conclusion – “This topic ain’t going away."

http://www.fulcrum7.com/blog/2017/3/27/is-this-thing-on-review


That article's title does voice my question -- "Is This Thing On?"  For real?  Are they really pushing to increase women pastors with monetary rewards to this extent?
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--68--In the Outer Court
« Last post by Dorine on May 22, 2018, 07:32:30 AM »
"But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him." They had once asked the Saviour, "What sign showest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee?" John 6:30. Innumerable signs had been given; but they had closed their eyes and hardened their hearts. Now that the Father Himself had spoken, and they could ask for no further sign, they still refused to believe.       "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." They loved the praise of men rather than the approval of God. To save themselves from reproach and shame, they denied Christ, and rejected the offer of eternal life. And how many through all the centuries since have been doing the same thing! To them all the Saviour's warning words apply: "He that loveth his life shall lose it." "He that rejecteth Me," said Jesus, "and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:48.

How is this possible? How can such love receive so much hatred? It should be a strong warning to everyone against yielding to selfish desires even in the smallest areas.  If anyone thinks they can play with fire and not get burnt they are fooling only themselves.  No one is a match for the devil. How it must crush the heart of Christ when He is longing to free the sinner from his prison. All He wants and needs is 100% of our hearts. We are all slaves; either to Christ or to Satan. I know whom I choose today.

"(Jos 24:15)  .....As for my family and me, we will serve the LORD.

Yes Richard, what a wonderful message we have. I love to listen to my Saviour through His word. What love, what sacrifice and I like what you said Pastor Sean "I love how Jesus reproduces His character in us! That is His reward and His joy!" It's a rewarding and exciting experience to live for Christ. Even through the valley's He is there. It's not the excitement of the world but a calm, peaceful reality. 
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Amen, dear Brother Glen!  It is the everlasting covenant that Jesus suffered and died that we might be changed from have enmity towards God to having enmity towards Satan and sin! We need to be born again of the Spirit in order to have this power to overcome the flesh within and the world and Satan without. Genesis 3:15 is the promise of eternal life free from sin, and present life set free from the bondage of sin. It it the power of grace when received into the heart. Jesus tells us "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:6,7.

The only reason this simple truth is hard to understand is because of the false gospels being circulated throughout the churches. The gospel message has been perverted in an effort to keep the blind blind as to their continual need of Jesus in order to have salvation. We must have Jesus! We must love Him with the whole heart, not just part of it.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--68--In the Outer Court
« Last post by Richard Myers on May 22, 2018, 06:52:02 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean. What a wonderful message we have. The men from the West who came to speak with Jesus are a type and shadow of those in the world who are seeking truth. They know not why it is that Jesus came to this dark spot in the universe a helpless baby in the likeness of sinful flesh, to fight the battle of life as we must fight it, to suffer and die, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.

   "Now is the judgment of this world," Christ continued; "now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die." This is the crisis of the world. If I become the propitiation for the sins of men, the world will be lighted up. Satan's hold upon the souls of men will be broken. The defaced image of God will be restored in humanity, and a family of believing saints will finally inherit the heavenly home. This is the result of Christ's death. The Saviour is lost in contemplation of the scene of triumph called up before Him. He sees the cross, the cruel, ignominious cross, with all its attending horrors, blazing with glory.
    But the work of human redemption is not all that is accomplished by the cross. The love of God is manifested to the universe. The prince of this world is cast out. The accusations which Satan has brought against God are refuted. The reproach which he has cast upon heaven is forever removed. Angels as well as men are drawn to the Redeemer. "I, if I be lifted up from the earth," He said, "will draw all unto Me." 


What a message! What a privilege is ours to find those who want to know the truth, and what a joy to tell them!!
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