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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--25--The Call by the Sea
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 23, 2019, 03:31:33 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon!

As we realize how sinful, weak, and erring we really are in the light of Calvary's cross, as we compare our lives to the divine, unchanging standard of God's holy law and the perfect example of Jesus, let us not despair to think that God cannot transform us fully into His image! It was sinners Christ came to save, and it is erring people that He loves to use in His service if we are willing to be made willing, and learn of Him! As we think of the transformation God brought about in His disciples, we can remember that God loves to do an infinite work through finite vessels. Then, the glory can only go to God, who alone can miraculously transform sinful, erring people into converted, consecrated agencies for sharing the gospel of His grace. Thus our great need is this vital connection with Christ, whereby every impulse of our nature is brought under the divine influence of the Holy Spirit; the heart and mind are renewed by divine grace as the Holy Spirit reveals through the fully surrendered soul love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance so not one of these fruits of the Spirit is missing! This miracle leads to a willing, affectionate obedience to do the will of God in any area to which God may call us. As Jesus called the disciples, so today He is calling you and me to serve Him and love Him with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. With Christ on the throne of our hearts, this will be our delight!!

"God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. The Spirit of God, received into the soul, will quicken all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God develops harmoniously, and is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God. The weak, vacillating character becomes changed to one of strength and steadfastness. Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character. Through a connection with Christ he will have clearer and broader views. His discernment will be more penetrative, his judgment better balanced. He who longs to be of service to Christ is so quickened by the life-giving power of the Sun of Righteousness that he is enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 251, paragraph 1}

May you be blessed to remember how Jesus has led in your life. He is working such great miracles in hearts yielded to Him!! Happy Sabbath!!
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--25--The Call by the Sea
« Last post by Beacon on March 22, 2019, 08:12:03 PM »
"He who loves Christ the most will do the greatest amount of good. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. If men will endure the necessary discipline, without complaining or fainting by the way, God will teach them hour by hour, and day by day. He longs to reveal His grace. If His people will remove the obstructions, He will pour forth the waters of salvation in abundant streams through the human channels. If men in humble life were encouraged to do all the good they could do, if restraining hands  were not laid upon them to repress their zeal, there would be a hundred workers for Christ where now there is one."[/color]

There is much truth to the saying..." God does not necessarily call "the qualified" ( according to socially acceptable and recognized human Degrees and Titles ) He "Qualifies" the one's that He has called through the Power of the Holy Spirit and thus each one of us can be used for His Glory " IF WE ARE WILLING"  

"In the apostles of our Lord there was nothing to bring glory to themselvesIt was evident that the success of their labors was due only to God. The lives of these men, the characters they developed, and the mighty work that God wrought through them, are a testimony to what He will do for all who are teachable and obedient."

The U.S. Marines have a motto that goes like this  "Semper Fidelis"  which means "always faithful" in Latin. When we become members of the family of God we also promise to Honor and Defend the One who died for us. We sing " Onward Christian Soldiers " Let us remember what a high honor we have been called to and be faithful to execute the commands of our Leader - Jesus Christ thereby bringing Honor & Glory to Him.
Thursday ↥        March 28

The New Jerusalem

John now describes the capital of the new earth, the New Jerusalem. While a real place inhabited by real people, the New Jerusalem and life in it are beyond any earthly description (1 Cor. 2:9).

Read Revelation 21:9-21. What are the exterior features of the New Jerusalem?

The New Jerusalem is referred to as the bride, the Lamb’s wife. The New Jerusalem is the place Christ is preparing for His people (John 14:1-3).

The city is surrounded by a high wall with twelve gates - three gates on each of the four sides, allowing entry from any direction. This feature points to the universal scope of the city. In the New Jerusalem everybody has unlimited access to God’s presence.

The city is further pictured as a perfect cube; it is 12,000 furlongs, or stadia, in length, width, and height. The cube consists of 12 edges. Thus, the city totals 144,000 stadia, which reflects the 144,000 who are translated without seeing death at the second coming of Jesus. In the Old Testament temple, the Most Holy Place was a perfect cube (1 Kings 6:20). The New Jerusalem thus functions as the center of the worship of God.

Read Revelation 21:21-22:5. What interior features of the city remind you of the Garden of Eden? What is the significance of the promise that there will be no more curse in the city (Rev. 22:3)?

The most prominent feature of the New Jerusalem is the river of water of life flowing from God’s throne (Gen. 2:10). In contrast to the river in Babylon, at which God’s people were sitting as captives longing for Jerusalem (Psalm 137), on the banks of the river of life in the New Jerusalem, God’s wandering people of all ages have found their home.

On both sides of the river is the tree of life with leaves for “the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). This healing does not refer to disease, as on the new earth there will be no disease. It refers to the healing of all the wounds caused by the barriers that have torn people apart throughout history. The redeemed of all ages and from all nations now belong to one family of God.

Friday ↥        March 29

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Without a Wedding Garment”, pp. 307-319, in Christ’s Object Lessons; “The Controversy Ended”, pp. 662-678, in The Great Controversy.

The book of Revelation concludes with what was introduced at the beginning: the second coming of Christ in power and glory and the establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom. The return of Christ, when He finally will be united with His bride, is the climactic point in the book.

However, the book does not put these events in an unrealistic context. That Jesus is coming soon is the first reality. The second reality is that we are still here waiting for His return. While waiting, we must have a clear comprehension of the messages of Revelation, and we can get this understanding by reading the book again and again until the end of all things comes. The messages of the book of Revelation constantly remind us, while we wait, not to look to the things of the world, but to fix our eyes on heaven and on Him who is our only hope. The Christ of Revelation is the answer to all human hopes and longings amid the enigmas and uncertainties of life. He holds the future of this world and our future in His hands.

The book also reminds us that before the end comes, we are entrusted with the task of proclaiming the message of His soon return to all the world. Our waiting for His return is not passive, but active. Both the Spirit and the Bride call: “Come!” (Rev. 22:17, NKJV). We must join that call. It is the good news, and as such, it must be proclaimed to the people of the world.

Discussion Questions:

    Think about the millennium and the judgment of the unrighteous dead that occurs only after the millennium. The saved will have a thousand years to get all their questions answered. Only then will God bring final punishment upon the lost. What does this truth reveal to us about God?

    Revelation 1:3 promises blessings to those who listen, read, heed, and keep the words of the prophecies of Revelation. As we conclude our study of this book, what are the things you have discovered that you need to heed and keep?

Tuesday ↥        March 26

The Millennium

Read Revelation 20:1-3 along with Jeremiah 4:23-26. During the millennium, what is the state of the earth? In what way is Satan bound by chains?

The 1,000 years (or millennium) begin with the second coming of Christ. At this time, Satan and his fallen angels are chained. The chaining of Satan is symbolic, because spiritual beings cannot be physically bound. Satan is bound by circumstances. The plagues have desolated the earth and killed off its evil inhabitants, bringing it into a chaotic condition resembling the earth before Creation (Gen. 1:2). In such a state, the earth functions as Satan’s prison during the millennium. Because there are no human beings to tempt and harm, all Satan and his demonic associates can do is contemplate the consequences of their rebellion against God.

Read Revelation 20:4-6. Where are the redeemed during the millennium?

Revelation shows that God’s people will spend the millennium in the heavenly places that Christ prepared for them (John 14:1-3). John sees them sitting on thrones as kings and priests, judging the world. Jesus promised the disciples that they would “sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). Paul stated that the saints would judge the world (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

This judgment concerns the fairness of God’s actions. Throughout history Satan has raised doubts concerning God’s character and His dealings with the beings He created. During the millennium, God allows the redeemed to access the records of history in order to find answers to all questions concerning the fairness of His decisions regarding those who were lost, as well as questions dealing with His leading in their own lives. At the conclusion of the millennium, all questions regarding God’s justice are forever settled. God’s people are able to see beyond a shadow of doubt that Satan’s accusations were unfounded. They are now ready to witness the administration of God’s justice at the final judgment of the lost.

Who among us doesn’t have questions, hard questions, that for now seem to have no answers? What does it tell us about the character of God that, one day, He will give us the answers?

Wednesday ↥        March 27

“A New Heaven and a New Earth”

After the eradication of sin, the earth will be transformed into the home of the redeemed. What will it be like?

In Revelation 21:1, John saw “a new heaven and a new earth”. The Bible refers to three heavens: the sky, the starry universe, and the place where God dwells (2 Cor. 12:2). In Revelation 21:1, the earth’s atmosphere is in view. The contaminated earth and the sky cannot endure God’s presence (Rev. 20:11). The word “new” in Greek (kainos) refers to something new in quality, not in origin and time. This planet will be purged by fire and restored to its original state (2 Pet. 3:10-13).

Particularly interesting is the fact that the first thing John observes on the new earth is that there is no sea. John’s reference to “the sea” (with the definite article) shows that he probably had in mind the sea that surrounded him on Patmos, which had become a symbol of separation and suffering. For him, the absence of that sea on the new earth meant absence from the pain caused by his separation from those whom he loved.

Read Revelation 21:2-8 and 7:15-17. What parallels exist in the description of the new earth and the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 2?

A life free of suffering and death on the restored earth is guaranteed by God’s presence among His people. This presence is manifested in the New Jerusalem and “the tabernacle of God” (Rev. 21:3), where God will dwell among His people. The presence of God makes life truly a paradise in the restored earth.

God’s presence guarantees freedom from suffering: no death, sorrow, crying, or pain, which are all the consequences of sin. With the eradication of sin, “the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NKJV).

This idea was well articulated by Mary and Martha at the death of their brother Lazarus: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, NKJV). The sisters knew that death could not exist in the presence of Christ. In the same way, the abiding presence of God on the new earth will secure freedom from the pain and suffering that we now experience in this life. This freedom is the great hope that is promised to us in Christ, a hope sealed in His blood.

Why is this promise of a new existence in a new world so central to all that we believe? What good would our faith be without it?
Lesson 13 *March 23-29

“I Make All Things New”

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 19:6-9, John 14:1-3, Rev. 19:11-16, Rev. 20:1-3, Jer. 4:23-26, Rev. 20:4-6; Rev. 21:2-8.

Memory Text: “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new’. And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’” (Revelation 21:5, NKJV).

The destruction of end-time Babylon is bad news for those who collaborated with this apostate religious system. For God’s people, however, it is good news (Rev. 19:1-7). Babylon was responsible for inducing the secular political powers to persecute and harm them (Rev. 18:24). The destruction of this great adversary means deliverance and salvation for God’s faithful people.

With the destruction of Babylon, the prayer of God’s people in the scene of the fifth seal, is ultimately answered. Their cry: “How long, O Lord?” (Rev. 6:10) represents the cry of God’s oppressed and suffering people from Abel to the time when God will finally vindicate them (Ps. 79:5; Hab. 1:2; Dan. 12:6-7). The book of Revelation assures God’s people that evil, oppression, and suffering will come to an end.

It is now time for Christ to usher in His everlasting kingdom. The remaining chapters of Revelation describe not just the destruction of end-time Babylon but also the destruction of Satan and all evil. We get glimpses, too, of the establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, March 30.

Sunday ↥        March 24

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

Read Revelation 19:6-9 along with John 14:1-3. How does a wedding supper appropriately illustrate the long-awaited union between Christ and His people?

Two thousand years ago, Christ left His heavenly home to invite His followers to a wedding supper (Matt. 22:1-14) that will take place after His marriage to His bride. “The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem … is called ‘the bride, the Lamb’s wife’. … In Revelation, the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. Revelation 19:9. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. …

In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14”. - Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 426-428. After His death and resurrection, the Bridegroom returned to His Father’s house to “prepare a place” for His people, His wedding guests (John 14:1-3). They remain on earth preparing for His return. At the end of the world, He will come back and take them to His Father’s house.

Revelation 19:8 states that the fine and clean linen was given to the bride by Christ. This apparel shows that the wedding guests who enter the city do not claim any merit for their deeds. Thus, the “fine linen, clean and bright” represents “the righteous acts of the saints” (NKJV), acts that came as a result of their union with Christ, who lives in them. Thus, these robes symbolize His righteousness and that His people “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). While on earth, Jesus told a parable about a wedding. However, one of the guests preferred to wear his own attire instead of the wedding garment provided by the king, and he was expelled from the wedding (Matt. 22:1-14).

Revelation 3:18 shows that the robe of Christ’s righteousness, the gold of faith and love, and the eye salve of the Holy Spirit are the greatest needs of God’s people living at the time of the end. Jesus’ offer that the Laodiceans “buy” these gifts from Him shows us that He asks for something in exchange for what He offers us. We give up self-sufficiency and trust in ourselves in exchange for a life of faithful obedience to Christ and trust in Him as our only hope of salvation.

We are not saved by our works, but what “righteous acts” do you do that define the life that you are living?

Monday ↥        March 25

Armageddon Ends

Read Revelation 19:11-16. What is the name of the rider of the white horse, and what does it mean that a sharp sword comes from His mouth? What does this tell us about how to be on the winning side in the end?

What we see here is a depiction of Christ’s second coming, the fulfillment of the promise that believers in all ages have been longing for. Like Jesus, His people have based their faith on God’s Word. Revelation 19:11-16 is the culmination of Jesus’ many victories: Jesus defeated Satan in heaven; He defeated Satan in the wilderness; He defeated him at the cross; and He will defeat him at His return.

“Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a ‘Man of Sorrows’, to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. ‘Faithful and True’, ‘in righteousness he doth judge and make war’. And ‘the armies which were in heaven’ (Revelation 19:11, 14) follow Him. With anthems of celestial melody the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng, attend Him on His way. The firmament seems filled with radiant forms - ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’. No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendor”. - Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 640, 641.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Paul gives another depiction of the ultimate victory of Christ at the Second Coming, when all the secular and religious powers, which had conspired against Him, are destroyed, and His people are delivered for all eternity.

Revelation 19 describes two suppers, one in verse 9 and another in verses 17 and 18. At one supper you eat, at the other you get eaten. It’s hard to imagine a starker contrast of what’s at stake in the whole great controversy for every human being. What should this imagery teach us about how seriously we need to take our faith and the mission that our faith calls us to participate in?
Yes, and thanks but I am talking about the scarlet beast on which the scarlet woman sits. I think he makes it clear who the woman is but not the beast on which she sits. I'm, not sure how the heads that are hills fit anyone but pagan Rome accept if there is a second application. Some also wonder if the 10 horns are not only the Anglo Saxons, Franks, etc.. but also a modern day application.
Healthful Living / Re: Celiac Disease
« Last post by colporteur on March 22, 2019, 12:07:12 PM »
Do to the high protein etc., I don't think cow's milk was ever really very good for humans. While the Bible speaks of a land flowing with milk and honey it also speaks of killing the fatted calf in the parable. I believe the verse that speaks of the land flowing with milk and honey was not promoting  health so much as indicating prosperity as the people viewed it to be.
Signs of the Times / Re: Global Warming?
« Last post by Cop on March 22, 2019, 10:09:41 AM »
"It requires blind faith to conclude that the Arctic and Antarctic are in grave danger."

That says it all, my sister.
Healthful Living / Re: Celiac Disease
« Last post by Marelis on March 22, 2019, 09:44:24 AM »
Correct, Br Myers. Even foods sold as organic...who knows what else blows in from other crops or what is in the soil from previous farming.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Last post by Beacon on March 22, 2019, 09:19:27 AM »
"Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a dislike for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation. Do we not today meet theories and doctrines that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions."

It is with great concern that I see men & women clinging to ideas which they passionately present from today's pulpit that are without a sound Biblical foundation and reminds me of this text found in 2 Timothy 4:2-4 .." preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.    

"But it was not simply the absence of outward glory in His life that led the Jews to reject Jesus. He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He dwelt among men an example of spotless integrity. His blameless life flashed light upon their hearts. His sincerity revealed their insincerity. It made manifest the hollowness of their pretentious piety, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. Such a light was unwelcome. "

What will we will we respond when Jesus flashes the "truth"  upon "our" heart and invites us to come up higher and be prepared to witness for Him and also be prepared to welcome Him when He comes again?

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