isI am hoping that all studying the lesson will take it to heart and recognize the days we are living in as the last days of earths history as everything seems to be adding up to His soon coming and we just might see a dearth of true Bible study. The Lord is anxious to come and take us home and is trying to bless us fully so that can happen....
First came the threats of judgment and plagues if we didn't comply with God's wishes. Now comes the promises of good times and blessing given to us providing we turn back to the Lord. All through the Old Testament we see this same pattern, not just in Amos but all the prophets have those elements in one way or another. But, in spite of all the treats and pleadings, with offers of wealth and grandeur Israel still failed! Why?
I think the main thing we need to keep in mind is that all the Old Testament prophets gave their messages in the context of the Old Covenant which is was a covenant of failure from the start. As Paul explains:
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. (Rom. 9:30-32 NKJV)
That insight is in line with what is said in Hebrews, "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Heb. 8:6-7 NKJV).
It then doesn't make any difference how many threats or enticements we are given, if we persistently try to keep the old covenant as it was agreed upon at Sinai we will fail as they did because we cannot change our hearts any more than the leopard can change his spots (Jer 13:23), only God can do that. What we need to do instead is to accept the everlasting covenant (New Covenant) where God promises everything instead of us. If we do that, then the prophecy that is found in Ezekiel of the dry bones (Eze 37) will come true and it will be done without the threats and enticements that was done under the force of the Old Covenant.
All through the Old Testament we see a pattern of our Father God pleading with His people to return to Him. He speaks in human language to demonstrate to them the results of going it on their own or of surrendering to His way. The book of Amos is just one example.
Prophets, by definition, speak for God. The messages they speak are from God. So saying that there is a "pattern" in their messages is saying that there is a "pattern" in God's dealing with men.
We need to remember that "the Old Covenant" was never God's doing. It was a human response to God's offer to be their God. When the people said, "All that the Lord has said, we will do," (Ex 24:3-7) it was not a bad thing. It was just that their hearts weren't in it. (Deut 5:29) They wanted God far from them. That's why they asked Moses to speak to them in His stead. (Ex 20:19) And they thought they could be quite righteous enough on their own.
God's offer was always "new covenant" -- that is, a covenant of grace. But it always required whole-hearted submission to His will. That's what Israel lacked, and I fear that's what we still lack today.
God never made an "old covenant." The people did. And we still have the tendency to "old covenant" today. We want to do things our way, instead of God's way, and that's always "old covenant."
And God still pleads with us -- with threatenings and promises. In Rev 3:16 he threatens to spit us out because we are "lukewarm" and think rather highly of ourselves ... deeming ourselves much better than those "old-covenant" people in the Old Testament. And He promises that if we will but open the door, He will come in and dine with us and more ... (Rev 3:20-21)
I pray that we may all humble our hearts and let Him in -- not just because of the threatenings and the promises (though they are there), but because He loves us more than life itself. He gave up His life for us! And to love Him back with all our hearts and to trust Him with our lives is the only appropriate response.
Question: was the covenant of old not still based on faith? God covenanted with Abraham long before Sinai. And Abraham's faith was accounted to him as righteousness. His children however thought themselves capable of attaining righteousness by themselves and thus failed miserably, as all will who rely on their own merits. God mediates the covenant still through faith in Jesus' righteousness. Thus it has always been and always will be. He is faithful who has promised. We need to trust Him.
Comment by Lincoln Solomon — May 1, 2013 @ 8:05 pm
I am so thankful for the hope that God has given us for the future. I need Him to remind me every day of this impending destiny! Let the hope burn in my heart, and the love of God! Then, I will look to bring this hope to others on life's rough present.
I agree with you Tyler, with out Faith it's impossbile to please God. We can never earn our way buy being religous. Salvation is by Christ, not by the law. And when you know Christ we have no problem with the law. God is Love and Love covers.That what Jesus did for all that will accept Him.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I am not seeing the possibility of Amos 9:11-12 and Luke 1:32-33 fullfiling at the coming of christ, for when he comes in the cloud all cases are already fixed, probation is closed for all, Amos, Luke and Paul speaks of a time when probation is still open, people can still be saved
In Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
These scriptures shows that Christ receives the kingdom while in the sanctuary, some time after the little horn power, (the papacy) and while the judgment is in session.
Also these things the Jews had to do during the 70 weeks of Dan 9:24, (Six things was to take place during the 70 weeks = 490 years.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Make and end of sin.
Make reconciliation for iniquity.
Bring in everlasting righteousness.
Seal up the vision and the prophecy.
Anoint the Most Holy. This never happened and his word cannot return to him void , and He (Christ) Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: ( 7 years) What Covenant?.
The Same from from Abram, Isaac and Jacob and Isreal and to the christians, Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
The Gospel is of the kingdom and this is what he confirmed.
Comment by Lennox Francois — May 2, 2013 @ 5:25 am
God is telling the people of Judah that all they have to do is repent and turn away from their idols and they can have all that they used to have when they were worshipping God and following his commands. We are just like the people of Judah. We follow God for a little while and then we stray away. God helps us not to stray away from him and stay on the path He wants us to stay on. God bless our brothers aand sisters in Christ!
lsreal had a great chance of conquering the whole world. The truth is, because they had protection from the LORD, they thought all what they had came by chance: peace, good health and wealth. They lost focusing on the Owner of all that they boasted of. This kind of behavior can happen to most Christians these days unless we change.
We hope to recieve rightoussnes when Jesus come. By hope we are saved. Hope that can be seen is not hope. So we apart from works expect to obtain the heavenly state in which we are right with God and others. If we were like that now than there will be no more hope left.
I believe that the first principle in seeking to understand biblical texts is that we need to recognize that our interpretation is likely to be flawed without the direct help of the Holy Spirit. Thus the need for prayer.
The second principle is that, rightly understood, the Bible does not contradict itself on any significant matter. (In the OT, there are minor differences, such as different writers recording different numbers regarding the counting of the people. And while we don't know why, it's not a significant issues.) Usually, when we see apparent contradictions, our own presuppositions and interpretations are at fault.
As I understand it, Amos 9:11-15 is a conditional prophecy insofar as it could have applied to literal Israel, if they had been faithful. But beyond that, it refers to spiritual Israel under Christ, the "son of David." As you point out, this does not fit in with the scenario of the Second Coming, but it does fit in with the scenario of the New Earth.
Luke 1:32-33 is a prophecy regarding Christ. The "throne of His father David" is the reign over "the house of Jacob" in its spiritual form, forever. (All those who are "in Christ" are heirs of the Kingdom promise, according to Gal 3:29)
A full study of Daniel 7 is beyond the scope of what is possible or desirable as a comment on this day's lesson. Something to remember about the prophetic books is that the visions do not necessarily portray history or the future in chronological order. I shall address your questions briefly ..
In Dan 7:13-14 we have a picture of the "dominion" being given to Christ, who comes in the clouds of heaven. This sets the stage for the fulfillment of Amos 9:11-15 and Luke 1:32-33. The people who are left after the destruction of the wicked, will, indeed, serve Him.
Adventists generally interpret Dan 7:22 as a reference to the Pre-Advent Judgment, in which judgment is rendered "in favor" of the "holy ones" (Dan 7:21) or the "saints," as other versions translate it. In other words, those who are truly in Christ are vindicated in Him in this judgment, which happens before the Second Coming - as it must, in order that these "saints" can be taken to heaven.
Dan 7:26-27 is a parallel passage to Amos and Luke. (There are many such references in the Bible.) After the "king" who exalts himself against God is judged, he will be destroyed and the kingdom given to the saints.
Daniel 9:24 refers to the time allotted to the Jewish nation as the people of God. During that time they will "finish transgression" - which sounds to me like using up their probationary time. "To make and end of sin" may be parallel to the previous phrase, or it may refer to the work of Christ. (The difference is not significant either way, in my opinion.) Christ makes "reconciliation for iniquity" and He brings in "everlasting righteousness" with His own death, which ratifies the everlasting covenant.
The everlasting or "new" covenant is the one Christ "confirmed" for seven years -- both in the 3 1/2 years of His personal ministry and through the next 3 1/2 years of His disciples' ministry, until Israel used up her probationary time with the stoning of Stephen. After that time, literal Israel is no longer significant in salvation history; the believers in Christ become the only heirs to the Kingdom. (Jews may still become part of the Kingdom by accepting Christ, just like the Gentiles.)