Further Study: Lest We Forget

“God blesses the work of men’s hands, that they may return to Him His portion. future_studyHe gives them the sunshine and the rain; He causes vegetation to flourish; He gives health and ability to acquire means. Every blessing comes from His bountiful hand, and He desires men and women to show their gratitude by returning Him a portion in tithes and offerings—in thank offerings, in freewill offerings, in trespass offerings. They are to devote their means to His service, that His vineyard may not remain a barren waste. They are to study what the Lord would do were He in their place. . . .They are to take all difficult matters to Him in prayer. They are to reveal an unselfish interest in the building up of His work in all parts of the world.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 707, 708.

Discussion Questions:

  • Dwell more on the Bible and marriage. Because marriage itself is so sacred, something created by God Himself, it comes with some very strict guidelines about what is biblically permitted to dissolve it. After all, how sacred, how important would marriage be were it easily ended? If you can get out of it for the most trivial of reasons, then marriage itself would be trivial. How do the strict rules against ending a marriage prove just how special it is?
  • As a class, carefully go over Malachi 2:17. What do we, as Seventh-day Adventists with our understanding of the pre-Advent judgment, have to say to those who might be uttering the same sentiments expressed in this verse?
  • Malachi 4 talks about the ultimate destruction of the lost. Nothing remains. How does this teaching contrast with the idea of an eternally burning hell-fire? Why is the contrast between these two views a good example of the ways in which false doctrine can lead to a false understanding about the character of God?
  • In his classic work “The Grand Inquisitor,” Russian writer Dostoevsky depicted the institution of the church in his time as having things so well under control that it did not need Christ anymore. Are we facing that same danger today? If so, how so? How might this danger be more subtle than we realize?


Further Study: Lest We Forget — 3 Comments

  1. I think this quarter's lessons are important because the messages in them concerned God's people who were living just before the first advent. We, on the other hand, are living just before the Second Advent and have many of the same problems they had.

    First of all we need to understand that the church is basically asleep just as the ten virgins were asleep just before the bridegroom came (Mat 25:1-13). We also need to see that in many ways there is a general attitude among many that say that Jesus is delaying His return indefinitely. To those people Peter's cautionary message is appropriate:

    Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
    (2 Pet. 3:1-4 NKJV)

    There are abundant signs that the end is extremely near:
    1. The state of biogenesis - The most interesting to me is the fact that those who believe in Darwinian evolution are finding it increasingly difficult to account for life through their theory of naturalistic causes. Today, science cannot explain how life started and it cannot explain what has been called the Cambrian explosion. Nor do they have a viable process that can account for the kinds of change that they say have happened. Therefore scientists are being lead into the position of having to decide what they choose to believe based on the facts of their own discipline.
    2. The weather - Not only are weather patterns changing but storms are slowly becoming more violent and more numerous. At least in the US weather is becoming more extreme.
    3. The depletion of resources - Man is using up the natural resources that are available. Water tables are going down and forests are disappearing not only because of the demand for wood products but also because of population pressure. Fossil fuels are also becoming much more expensive to get which is a problem because we are so much dependent on them - even poor countries are beginning to fall into that category as their lifestyle is being upgraded technologically.
    4. The moral decay of humanity - There have always been moral problems but increasingly, immorality is being accepted as the norm throughout a lot of the world.
    5. Pollution - We are increasingly poisoning the environment we must live in. Animal population in many instances is decreasing. The fishing industry is probably the one that is feeling that more than anyone. The earth has marvelous ways of adjusting to it but there is a breaking point, a point of no return that we are rushing toward.
    6. The spread of the Gospel - The Gospel is going forward in ways that we are only getting glimpses of. In a lot of the countries that are essentially closed to open evangelism there are underground movements that are very active in the Lord. The three angels are doing their work.

    With all of this I can see things are quickly coming to a head and I haven't listed all the signs. We like ancient Israel need to listen to the prophets and understand the messages they were giving. As Jehoshaphat once said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper" (2 Chron. 20:20 NKJV).

  2. One of the most interesting (and solemn) aspects of Malachi is the 3rd and 4th Chapters. First in the 3rd chapter, we see that it mentions His coming to His "temple" suddenly. Notice it's not to the "world" or earth or implying a worldly coming in any way. But in verse 2 (Mal. 3:2) we see the day He comes, it appears as a cleaning --"like a refiner's fire and like a launderer's soap." Verse 3 says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, He will purify the son's of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness."

    Again, when we read further in verse 4 and 5 we see clearly this speaks of a purifying process of God's people.

    Once we understand this prophecie, we can put Ellen White's words into the same equation. She has spoken much concerning thsi purifying process but one of her most direct is this one--, "Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it (The 3rd Angel's message) when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry. (Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908)

    So to summarize, we see that the Scriptures and SOP show that ther will be a cleansing within our church PRIOR to the proclamation of the "LOUD CRY". We are doing the fainter cry right now and as yet no Loud Cry has taken place because obviously we see the co-mingling of the "wheat and the tares" within our SDA church.

  3. Malachi simply depicts the father and son relationships. The child asks the father gives. But sometimes the child would ask for more. The problem starts. Sometimes, the father may concede and give; then the child would ask for more. Limits becomes blur in the child's perception and he becomes self-oriented. This is vividly depicted in the stories of the Prodigal Son, Joseph and his brothers and the Father's ultimate sacrifice for redemption; His Son Jesus. We pay homage to God when we do His will and obey Him. This is the highest evidence of our love to Him. Secondly, if we treat people fairly and never take advantage of them. God is blessed in our acts of respect, honesty and good works. Have we realized this then Satan could have been defeated centuries ago. The next time we are confronted of indecision, pray, wait for God's answer and obey His will. After all obedience, a heartful one and without reservation, is the highest form of worship we can Give our Father.


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