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51
Tuesday          September 27
Mysterious Ingratitude

Read Ezekiel 28:12-19.

 28:12   Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 
 28:13   Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 
 28:14   Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 
 28:15   Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 
 28:16   By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 
 28:17   Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 
 28:18   Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 
 28:19   All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more. 


What can we learn from this passage about the mysterious origin of sin?

Lucifer was proud of what God had given him.


Much of the book of Ezekiel was written in end-time symbolic language. In many instances, specific entities (like persons, animals, and objects) and local events are used to represent and describe broader cosmic and/or historical realities. In Ezekiel 28:1-10, the Lord spoke of the king of Tyre (Tyre itself was a prosperous ancient Phoenician port city) as a rich and proud ruler who was only a “man” but who claimed to be a god and who even sat (he claimed) in the throne of the gods.

Then, in Ezekiel 28:12-19, this historical reality becomes an analogy to describe the original fall of Lucifer in the heavenly courts. So, the king of Tyre, who was a human being living “in the midst of the seas” (Ezek. 28:2, 8, NKJV), now represents “the anointed cherub who covers,” (Ezek. 28:14, NKJV) living “in Eden, the garden of God,” (Ezek. 28:13, NKJV) and “on the holy mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:14, NKJV).

A crucial statement in the whole account is found in Ezekiel 28:15, which says, “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (NKJV). Hence, and importantly, Lucifer’s perfection included the potential for evil, the potential to do wrong, and that was because, as a moral being, Lucifer possessed free will, part of what it means to be a perfect being.

In reality, Lucifer was created perfect — which included his ability to choose freely. However, abusing that perfection by the misuse of his free will, he became corrupted by considering himself more important than he actually was.

No longer satisfied with how God had created and honored him, Lucifer lost his thankfulness to God and wished to receive more recognition than he actually deserved. How this could happen with a perfect angelic being living in a perfect universe is, as already mentioned, a mystery.

“Sin is a mysterious, unexplainable thing. There was no reason for its existence; to seek to explain it is to seek to give a reason for it, and that would be to justify it. Sin appeared in a perfect universe, a thing that was shown to be inexcusable.” — Ellen G. White, The Truth About Angels, p. 30.

Amen!! "to seek to explain it is to seek to give a reason for it, and that would be to justify it." Let it alone. Don't speculate in why or how.


In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul says that “in everything” (NKJV) we should give thanks. How can these words help us to overcome any feelings of ingratitude and self-pity, especially in trying times?

They really can't overcome being aligned with Satan and sin. The only hope we have is to flee to Jesus and give Him the whole heart, then we shall not have self-pity and feelings of ingratitude.

52
Monday          September 26
Free Will, the Basis for Love

Read 1 John 4:7-16.

 4:7   Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 
 4:8   He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
 4:9   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 
 4:10   Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. 
 4:11   Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 
 4:12   No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 
 4:13   Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 
 4:14   And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. 
 4:15   Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 
 4:16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 


What does this passage tell us about free will as a condition to cultivating love?

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." There is no oppression, we are free to love God or to not love God. If we love God we shall love even our enemy. When we freely choose to learn of Him who gave all while we were yet sinners,  we will love Him because He first loved us while we where His enemy.

Artificial flowers can be gorgeous, but they do not grow and bloom as do real ones. Robots are pre-programmed to talk and to perform many tasks, but they have neither life nor emotions. In reality, life and free will are indispensable conditions for someone to receive, cultivate, and share love. So, our loving God created angels (including Lucifer) and human beings with freedom to make their own choices, including the possibility of following a wrong path. In other words, God created the whole universe as a perfect and harmonious environment for His creatures to grow in love and in wisdom.

In 1 John 4:7-16, the apostle John underscores that “God is love,” and that He manifested His love to us by sending His own Son to die for our sins. As a result, we should express our gratitude for His infinite love by loving one another. Such love, divinely originated, would be the most convincing evidence that God abides in us and that we abide in Him. This appeal to reflect God’s love to one another makes sense only if addressed to creatures who can choose to cultivate and express that love or, in contrast, to live a self-centered life. However, freedom of choice can easily be misused, a sad fact demonstrated in the tragic rebellion of Lucifer in heaven.

Even recognizing the importance of free will, some people still wonder, If God knew that Lucifer would rebel, why did God create him? Does the creation of Lucifer not make God ultimately responsible for the origin of sin?

No. Lucifer is responsible for his stupidity. He chose to turn against God and truth. It is a mystery as to why other than he was proud of God had made him.


That can be a very difficult question to speculate about, because it depends upon many factors, including what exactly is meant by the word “responsible.” The origin and nature of sin are mysteries that no one can fully explain.

No need to "speculate." This can get you into trouble. Just believe what God says, that is good enough.


Even so, God did not ordain sin to exist; He only allowed its existence, and then, at the cross, He took upon Himself the ultimate punishment for that sin, thus enabling Him, ultimately, to eradicate it. In all our painful musings about evil, we must never forget that God Himself paid the highest price for the existence of sin and of evil (see Matt. 5:43-48, Rom. 5:6-11), and that He has suffered from them more than any of us ever will.

Free will, a gift from God, is sacred, but comes heavy laden with powerful consequences, not only for yourself but for others, as well. What important decisions are you, using this gift, about to make, and what will be the consequences of whatever choices you make?

If we choose to follow God, then we shall avert the punishment for all of our sins. There is truly going to be fire and brimstone for all who have hurt others and God. But for the wise who choose to follow God, there will be an eternity of living with Jesus in a world without sin. And, in case one has never realized it, God rewards us greatly for the little difficulties we experience in this world.
53
Sunday          September 25
Creation, an Expression of Love

Nature in its present condition carries an ambiguous message that mingles both good and evil. Rosebushes can produce lovely and fragrant roses but also harmful and painful thorns. A toucan can impress us with its beauty and then dismay us by assaulting the nests of other birds and eating their frail chicks. Even human beings, who are capable of kindness one moment, can be vicious, hateful, even violent in the next. No wonder that in the parable of the wheat and the tares, the servants asked the field owner, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” (Matt. 13:27, NKJV) And the owner replied, “An enemy has done this” (Matt. 13:28, NKJV). Likewise, God created the universe perfect, but an enemy defiled it with the mysterious seeds of sin.

Read 1 John 4:8, 16. What can the certainty that “God is love” tell us about the nature of His creative activities?

The fact that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16, NKJV) conveys at least three basic implications. First, love by its very nature cannot exist closed in itself but must be expressed. (What kind of love is not expressed?) God’s love is shared internally among the Three Persons of the Godhead, and externally in His relationship with all His creatures. Second, all that God does is an expression of His unconditional and unchangeable love. This includes His creative works, His redemptive actions, and even the manifestations of His punitive judgments. Actually, “God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love.” — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 762. And third, since God is love and all He does expresses His love, He cannot be the originator of sin, which is in direct opposition to His own character.

But did God really need to create the universe? From the perspective of His sovereignty, one could say “No,” because it was a decision of His free will. But from the perspective of His loving nature, He wanted a universe as a means of expressing His love. And how amazing that He created some forms of life, such as humans, not only capable of responding to God’s love but also capable of sharing and expressing love, not just to God but to others, as well. (See also Mark 12:30, 31.)

Look around at the created world. In what ways can you see in it reflections of God’s love, despite the ravages of sin? How can we learn to draw lessons of hope from the expression of God’s love revealed in the Creation?

It is the Spirit that opens our eyes to the truths found in nature. Thus, in order to draw lessons of hope from Creation we need to have spiritual eyesight which comes when we love the Lord our God with all of the heart and allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of the heart so He may cleanse it whiter than snow!



54
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 24, 2022, 04:01:33 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon and Brother Philip!!

Happy Sabbath to you all! Let us rejoice in the Lord always as we grow in His grace and appreciate all He has done to save us from sin! From the manger to Calvary Jesus fought the battle and He WON!! We get to enjoy His victory by coming into harmony with Him by grace through faith! 

"Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss." {The Desire of Ages, page 49, paragraph 1} 
     
Because Jesus fought the battle in humanity and won by relying always on the word of God, we, too, can experience His victory and be with Him forever! Satan is defeated and we need to depend on the Father's love in every moment to help us do the right thing from the new heart given us in conversion! All of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing as long as we are abiding in Christ!!
55
Friday          September 23

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Gethsemane,” pp. 685-697, and “Calvary,” pp. 741-757, in The Desire of Ages.

“Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: ’If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 690, 693.

How was it that Jesus was able to carry the sins of the world?  It was through power given by His Father. It was His Father's love that carried Him. It was also the strong character that He formed through obedience with the power from His Father. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered."  Heb. 5:8. He was always obedient, then why does the verse say He learned obedience? For the very same reason why we glory in our tribulation.

 5:3   And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 
 5:4   And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
 5:5   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 


The only ones who will glory in tribulation are those who are in a converted state abiding in Christ. They will not be tempted beyond what they can bear, but they will be tempted. The verse says that tribulation worketh patience. Yes, like sufferings for Jesus worked obedience. Do you see the same principle in both? If you are in a converted state, you are already patient. All who are converted reveal all of the fruits, not one missing. So, you are already patient. Love, joy, peace, "long suffering."  Tribulation strengthens our character so that we can be tempted at a higher level and be more patient. So it was with Jesus. He was always obedient, but through His tribulation, He could be more obedient, suffer greater tribulation and still obey. He could not carry the sins of the world at age 10, nor 12, nor 20.


Discussion Questions:

    How does it help us in our own sufferings, this knowledge that God Himself, in the person of Christ, suffered more than any of us ever could? What should the sufferings of Christ in our behalf mean to us? What comfort can we draw from this amazing truth? As you think about your answer, keep in mind the following statement from Ellen G. White: “All the suffering which is the result of sin was poured into the bosom of the sinless Son of God.” — Selected Messages, book 3, p. 129.
    As a class, go over the sufferings of Christ looked at in this week’s lesson. What were the crucibles that Christ faced? In what ways are they like our own, and in what ways are they different? What can we learn from how He handled these challenges that can help us amid our own crucibles?
    What are some of your favorite Bible promises, promises that you can cling to amid sorrow and pain?

When in great trials, remember that if you love the Lord our God with all of the heart, then He has promised you power to bear the trial. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. In your trial, you are a witness to others that there is a difference between those who love God and those who do not. Read again Ezekiel 36:23. "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes."


Write them out, claim them for yourself, and share them in class.
    Write out a summary paragraph, highlighting whatever few main points you got from this quarter’s lessons. What questions were resolved for you? What issues still remain unanswered? How can we help each other work through those things that still greatly perplex and trouble us?

What a great subject for our study this quarter! We pray that after our studies you will better understand why it is that God allows bad things to happen to "good" people. None are good but God. But, He is turning sinners into saints who reflect the character of our loving and just God. One last thing to share on this subject that will be an encouragement to all who are seeking truth to glorify God.

We have delayed the coming of Jesus. We have not done that which He has entrusted to us. Jesus cannot come until He finishes His work in the Most Holy Place. What is keeping Him from completing His work? We are. As long as there are sins and one who can be saved, then the sanctuary continues in need of cleansing. When Christ has a people who have ceased to sin then Jesus will say

 22:10   And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 
 22:11   He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 
 22:12   And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 
 22:13   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 
 22:14   Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 


Let us hasten that day!!  Have a blessed Sabbath my dear friends!

56

Let me try to keep my comments not much longer than the introduction by our author of this quarter's lessons on Death, Dying and Hope. It is my hope that not all will consider death a "painful experience."


During Paul’s final trial before Nero, the emperor had been so strongly impressed with the force of the apostle’s words that he deferred the decision of the case, neither acquitting nor condemning the accused servant of God. But the emperor’s malice against Paul soon returned. Exasperated by his inability to check the spread of the Christian religion, even in the imperial household, he determined that as soon as a plausible pretext could be found, the apostle should be put to death. Not long afterward Nero pronounced the decision that condemned Paul to a martyr’s death. Inasmuch as a Roman citizen could not be subjected to torture, he was sentenced to be beheaded. Paul was taken in a private manner to the place of execution. Few spectators were allowed to be present; for his persecutors, alarmed at the extent of his influence, feared that converts might be won to Christianity by the scenes of his death. But even the hardened soldiers who attended him listened to his words and with amazement saw him cheerful and even joyous in the prospect of death. To some who witnessed his martyrdom, his spirit of forgiveness toward his murderers and his unwavering confidence in Christ till the last, proved a savor of life unto life. More than one accepted the Saviour whom Paul preached, and erelong fearlessly sealed their faith with their blood.

Until his latest hour the life of Paul testified to the truth of his words to the Corinthians: “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-10. His sufficiency was not in himself, but in the presence and agency of the divine Spirit that filled his soul and brought every thought into subjection to the will of Christ. The prophet declares, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3. The heaven-born peace expressed on Paul’s countenance won many a soul to the gospel. Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist. The apostle lost sight of his own approaching sufferings in his solicitude for those whom he was about to leave to cope with prejudice, hatred, and persecution. The few Christians who accompanied him to the place of execution he endeavored to strengthen and encourage by repeating the promises given for those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He assured them that nothing would fail of all that the Lord had spoken concerning His tried and faithful children. For a little season they might be in heaviness through manifold temptations; they might be destitute of earthly comforts; but they could encourage their hearts with the assurance of God’s faithfulness, saying, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.” 2 Timothy 1:12. Soon the night of trial and suffering would end, and then would dawn the glad morning of peace and perfect day.

The apostle was looking into the great beyond, not with uncertainty or dread, but with joyous hope and longing expectation. As he stands at the place of martyrdom he sees not the sword of the executioner or the earth so soon to receive his blood; he looks up through the calm blue heaven of that summer day to the throne of the Eternal. This man of faith beholds the ladder of Jacob’s vision, representing Christ, who has connected earth with heaven, and finite man with the infinite God. His faith is strengthened as he calls to mind how patriarchs and prophets have relied upon the One who is his support and consolation, and for whom he is giving his life. From these holy men who from century to century have borne testimony for their faith, he hears the assurance that God is true. His fellow apostles, who, to preach the gospel of Christ, went forth to meet religious bigotry and heathen superstition, persecution, and contempt, who counted not their lives dear unto themselves that they might bear aloft the light of the cross amidst the dark mazes of infidelity—these he hears witnessing to Jesus as the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. From the rack, the stake, the dungeon, from dens and caves of the earth, there falls upon his ear the martyr’s shout of triumph. He hears the witness of steadfast souls, who, though destitute, afflicted, tormented, yet bear fearless, solemn testimony for the faith, declaring, “I know whom I have believed.” These, yielding up their lives for the faith, declare to the world that He in whom they have trusted is able to save to the uttermost.

Ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ, washed from sin in His blood, and clothed in His righteousness, Paul has the witness in himself that his soul is precious in the sight of his Redeemer. His life is hid with Christ in God, and he is persuaded that He who has conquered death is able to keep that which is committed to His trust. His mind grasps the Saviour’s promise, “I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40. His thoughts and hopes are centered on the second coming of his Lord. And as the sword of the executioner descends and the shadows of death gather about the martyr, his latest thought springs forward, as will his earliest in the great awakening, to meet the Life-giver, who shall welcome him to the joy of the blest. Well-nigh a score of centuries have passed since Paul the aged poured out his blood as a witness for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. No faithful hand recorded for the generations to come the last scenes in the life of this holy man, but Inspiration has preserved for us his dying testimony. Like a trumpet peal his voice has rung out through all the ages since, nerving with his own courage thousands of witnesses for Christ and wakening in thousands of sorrow-stricken hearts the echo of his own triumphant joy: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Ellen White; Act of the Apostles, pgs 510-513.


_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ __________________________________


Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: 1 John 4:8, 16; 1 John 4:7-16; Ezek. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-15; Revelation 12.

Memory Text: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! ” Isiah 14:12

Many thinkers have tried to explain the origin of evil. Some suggest that evil always has existed because, in their view, good can be appreciated only in contrast to evil. Others believe that the world was created perfect but, somehow, evil emerged. For example, in Greek mythology, evil started when the curious Pandora opened a sealed box out of which flew all the evils of the world (this myth, however, does not explain the origin of the evils supposedly hidden in that box).

By contrast, the Bible teaches that our loving God is all-powerful (1 Chron. 29:10, 11) and perfect (Matt. 5:48). All that He does must likewise be perfect (Deut. 32:4), which includes how He created our world. How, then, could evil and sin appear in a perfect world? According to Genesis 3, the fall of Adam and Eve brought sin, evil, and death here.

But that answer raises another issue. Even before the Fall, evil already had existed, manifested by the “serpent,” who deceived Eve (Gen. 3:1-5). Hence, we need to go back, even before the Fall, in order to find the source and origins of the evil that so dominates our present existence and that at times can make it pretty miserable.

For those who abide in Jesus, His goodness, love, and justice dominate our world. We are confronted with evil to the degree that God allows. We will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. It is a promise! "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]." 1 Cor. 10:13.  In the middle of the storm, we have peace that passes all understanding. And that evil is turned to good. Satan has lost the battle and is as a roaring lion seeking to devour all he can. But, nothing happens in this world that God does not allow or cause. Evil exists as a mystery, but will not forever. Affliction shall not arise a second time. Nahum 1:9.  "He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 1.



57
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Last post by Beacon on September 23, 2022, 08:00:39 PM »
"The gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart."

"It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11.

"It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death..."


"His love for the sinner is stronger than death."

"Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work."

"From the manger to the cross, the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender, and to fellowship in suffering."

"It unveiled the purposes of men." Jesus came with the truth of heaven, and all who were listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit were drawn to Him."


"The worshipers of self belonged to Satan's kingdom."

"In their attitude toward Christ, all would show on which side they stood."

"Thus everyone passes judgment on himself. "


Therefore, we need to honestly ask ourselves, with an open heart, the question...What is "OUR" Attitude/Commitment towards Christ??

===============================

1
I’ve wandered far away from God,
  Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,
  Lord, I’m coming home.
    Coming home, coming home,
  Nevermore to roam;
Open wide Thine arms of love;
    Lord, I’m coming home.
2
I’ve wasted many precious years,
  Now I’m coming home;
I now repent with bitter tears,
  Lord, I’m coming home.
3
I’m tired of sin and straying, Lord,
  Now I’m coming home;
I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word;
  Lord, I’m coming home.
4
My soul is sick, my heart is sore,
  Now I’m coming home;
My strength renew, my hope restore:
  Lord, I’m coming home.
5
My only hope, my only plea,
  Now I’m coming home;
That Jesus died, and died for me;
  Lord, I’m coming home.
6
I need His cleansing blood, I know,
  Now I’m coming home;
O wash me whiter than the snow;
  Lord, I’m coming home.

Lyrics/Music by William James Kirkpatrick (1838-1921)
58
Thursday          September 22
The Suffering God

We might as well get used to it: as long as we are here, in this world, we are going to suffer.

Amen! And since it will glorify God and is for good (if we abide in Jesus), we ought to glory in our tribulation. It is the highest honor and most weighty trust that God can bestow upon us, that we partake in the sufferings of our Savior


 As fallen creatures, it is our fate. Nothing in the Bible promises us anything different. On the contrary …

What do the following verses have to tell us about the topic at hand? Acts 14:22, Phil. 1:29, 2 Tim. 3:12.

Yet, in the midst of our suffering, two things we should keep in mind.

First, Christ, our Lord, has suffered worse than any of us ever could. At the cross, He “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4, NKJV); what we know only as individuals, He suffered corporately, for us all. He who was sinless became “sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21), suffering in a way that we, as sinful creatures, couldn’t begin to imagine.

But second, as we suffer, we should remember the results of Christ’s suffering, that is, what we have been promised through what Christ has done for us.

Read John 10:28, Romans 6:23, Titus 1:2, and 1 John 2:25. What are we promised?

Our suffering is a testimony to the power of God's love (grace) to transform sinners into saints. The world will know there is a God when we are sanctified before their eyes in the middle of the storm (Eze. 36:23).


Whatever our sufferings here, thanks to Jesus, thanks to His bearing in Himself the punishment of our sin, thanks to the great provision of the gospel — that through faith we can stand perfect in Jesus right now — we have the promise of eternal life. We have the promise that because of what Christ has done, because of the fullness and completeness of His perfect life and perfect sacrifice, our existence here, full of pain, disappointment, and loss, is no more than an instant, a flash, here and gone, in contrast to the eternity that awaits us, an eternity in a new heaven and a new earth, one without sin, suffering, and death. And all this is promised to us and made certain for us only because of Christ and the crucible He went into so that one day, coming soon, He would see “the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isa. 53:11).

Amen!! Did not God promise Israel the same? Then why will so few of them enter heaven? Then we ought to learn from their sins that there are conditions we have to meet even though Christ has done His part. Many, ever so many in the church today will not enter heaven. Why? For the very same reason why Israel put their Messiah and Savior on a cross. They were deceived by their leaders. So it is today. I hear over and over, read over and over a multitude of false gospels. Why is it tha Paul says "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8,9. Why such strong words? Because he understood what happened to Israel and knew it would do the same in the churches he raised up and those that would follow. As an example, in 1888, the leadership of God's church rejected the gospel message and had led many in the church to be deceived also. So it is today.

Be a noble Berean and after listening to another, go to your Bible and see if it is truth. Often it is not. Study for yourselves that you be not deceived. God sends teachers, but the true teacher points you to Jesus and His Word.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 23, 2022, 07:47:18 PM »
Amen my dear friends!!  There is a lot of encouragement in this chapter, but there is also a lot of sorrow as we understand what Satan did to Israel and now he did it. But, again we see that God wants to transform us into His image. We also see that when the world has a common language that God uses it to spread the message of His character of love and justice.

 "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son." Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. The nations were united under one government. One language was widely spoken, and was everywhere recognized as the language of literature. From all lands the Jews of the dispersion gathered to Jerusalem to the annual feasts. As these returned to the places of their sojourn, they could spread throughout the world the tidings of the Messiah's coming.
     At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. While the light of truth seemed to have departed from among men, there were souls who were looking for light, and who were filled with perplexity and sorrow. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the grave. 


Amen!! Like I have never seen in my life as a Christian, there are so very many thirsting for a knowledge of truth! Let us be ready to give and answer for our faith.

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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 23, 2022, 12:20:44 PM »
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine and Brother Philip!!

It is happening, similar to the time Christ first came to our world. Satan is still seeking to destroy souls, but Jesus is in the miraculous ministry of restoring souls who were once so confused and broken by sin. We can praise God for His grace that is sufficient for us that has power to transform sinners like ourselves into saints who are enabled to do His will and be obedient to His truth while having His Spirit manifest through us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!

"Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory." {The Desire of Ages, page 37, paragraph 3}

Joy comes in being set free in Christ! Joy comes in receiving the fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit so we are made partakers of the divine nature, enabled to grow in His grace and reflect His beauty of character! What a joy it is walk with Jesus!
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