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Monday: Right in His Own Eyes — 25 Comments

  1. “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”

    When self-interest is the driver in our lives, it is all too easy to justify your own beliefs and actions. We are easily deceived by ourselves. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the community of believers and we need to interact with and listen to our “community of faith”.

    The NT church and our own Pioneers gave us strong examples of studying together to solve problems. In the early church, the move from a studying community to a hierarchical organisation that determined belief for others, ultimately led to the development of the papacy.

    I quoted Paul the other day about “working out our own salvation”. When we as a community of believers work together, we are fulfilling that plan. And sometimes it takes time to solve problems - the “working together” experience is often more important than the solution.

  2. Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
    There was no king in Israel? Really?
    1 Samuel 18:7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king.
    They genuinely felt they did the right thing but it was measured according their own eyes.
    There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12)
    What is our measuring stick of right and wrong?

  3. Today's lesson also outlines yet another key awareness and understanding in the Bible that has significant implications.

    Prior to Gen 3, Adam and Eve both absolutely trusted God. And God wanted them to know, understand and follow the ways that would maintain and expand their abundant life. Harmonious unity was a hallmark of this abundant life.

    So God communed with Adam and Eve to educate them in regard to the principles (laws of operation) of reality so they could make sound choices to live in harmony with (ie 'obedience' to) these principles and reap the associated inherent benefits of abundant life. In so doing, they would be living life as it was intended by God to be. Living in this way is termed "righteousness" - meaning being in harmony with the way things are supposed to be.

    Sadly, in Gen 3, Eve gave too much consideration to the insinuations that Satan suggested - that perhaps God was holding her back from experiencing an even more exalted stated of existence. And as Eve continued pondering, she moved away from trusting that God had her absolute best interests at heart and that He was telling her the truth about how life and reality was best lived. Instead, Eve moved to making her own assessment of reality - a assessment from a self-referenced base. She trusted her own judgement over God's. And she concluded that she would be advantaged by doing the opposite of what God had suggested.

    So, Eve's heart (ie, core) motive changed from other-focused trust and living in harmony with God-revealed truth to mistrust and a self-referenced perspective. This mistrust and self-referenced perspective resulted in Eve instead living in harmony with what seemed right in her own eyes. Unfortunately, doing this meant that Eve was out of harmony with how abundant life reality works - and can only work. Eve soon discovered that, in doing what seemed right in her own eyes, she had inadvertently disconnected herself from life. And a cascading array of impacts leading to death was unleashed. As Solomon later stated, there is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death (Prov 14:12).

    Reality offers us each two options:

    1) Live in harmony with (ie 'obedience') that which alone is capable of sustaining abundant life - the kind of life that God intended us to inhabit (ie, righteousness). This could be considered doing what is right in God's eyes.

    2) Live out of harmony with (ie, 'disobedience'), and therefore disconnected from, that which alone is capable of sustaining abundant life. Living in this way is termed 'sin' - the transgression of the laws that promote and sustain abundant life and living. This is what the bible describes as doing what seems right in our own eyes.

  4. True indeed our desire for God must be great. Our behaviour and the way we represent ourselves in public, to our neighbours must be Christ way. If we obey God almighty and what he require us to do, definitely a lot of souls will be converted.

  5. Why was God angry with the Israelites? Because they were naughty and disobeyed?
    No! it was because they worshiped the pagan gods.

    We perpetuate the misunderstanding of God when we give the impression that our outward actions are more important than a sanctified heart to God.

    Jdg 2:11-15  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:  12  And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.  13  And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.  14  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.  15  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

  6. Everything which man sees is right in his own eyes but as Christians we need to do what is right in the eyes of God.That is why 1cor 10:31-32Nkjv comes in by saying Therefore whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,do all to the glory of God.Not to the glory of your self.32.Give no offence, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the Church of God.
    In vs 32 tells that before you do it ask your self how will it appear to the Jews? How will it appear to people outside the church? How will it appear before Christ's Church and that is before Christ himself?

    part 2
    according to Judges 17:6 tells how leadership is important in a Church,many call them our spiritual guardians and they are responsible to Shepherd the folk 1pet 5:2- and ROM 13 counsels us to give them full respect not to give our leaders hard time by doing what pleases us.
    so a church without leadership will never stand instead it is divided because everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes without any guidance from God and that will be the end

  7. Only when we as God's people Begin to be faithful to all the light given to us, we will be a positive influence on those that don't know the truth. We don't become a positive influence by copying their worldly worship style, dress, music, preaching methods, etc., but by following all the truth given to us in the bible and in the spirit of prophecy. May God bless us and help us to be faithful to him.

    Esther Moran

  8. Each lesson so far continues to reveal the reasons for disunity is because of the lack of the "love of the truth!" It is the LOVE of the TRUTH that truly unites God's people. It is TRUTH that sets us free not love. When one does a word search throughout Scripture we find the word "unity" only three times. Here they are:

    Psa_133:1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

    Eph_4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    Eph_4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    The word translated "faith" in verse 13 also means "belief." Unity of what we BELIEVE!!

    • Dan,

      I saw in a previous post your inclusion of Amos 3:3 ..Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

      I use that verse all of the time when addressing disunity.

      Another support verse is..

      "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 JN 1:7

      Notice fellowship is among those who walk in the light....and that phrase "walk in the light" needs to be explained.

      Sooo, unity is for like minded (cognitive) and those who obey/behave.

      So many want the superficial unity of ..respectfully disagreeing, saying unity is not uniformity...etc.

      What are they united under? An institution?

      • An ‘institution’ is meeting this very weekend over the issue of proposed measures to ensure ‘unity’ via uniformity of all departments and members being cognitively like-minded and in behavioral obedience.

      • That is my point! Ever since the book "Questions on Doctrines" was published back in the 1950's we as a church have become more and more fragmented, being blown about by every wind of doctrine! There is an old military term that certainly applies because we ARE in a war - "Divide and conquer."

        This whole "love" thing sounds more and more like a Tony Palmer approach - "Hey we will just let God sort it all out when we get there!" The world needs TRUTH, a TRUTH that truly unites us and this will ONLY happen when WE submit completely to Christ, NOT my will but YOUR will LORD!

          • What the world needs to see Inge in Christ manifested once more IN and THROUGH His people! Christ was/is the walking/talking TRUTH and when WE finally settle INTO HIS Truth - well I will let Mrs. White explain what happens:

            (Revelation 7:2.) Seal Is a Settling Into Truth.--Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads--it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, BOTH INTELLECTUALLY AND SPIRITUALLY, so they cannot be moved--just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming (MS 173, 1902). {4BC 1161.6}

          • I agree wholeheartedly, Daniel. But you objected to "this whole love thing," and it seems to me that Christ was the embodiment of love. Thus can we manifest Christ without "this whole love thing"?

            The other question is this: How does this settling into the truth both intellectually and spiritually come about? Does this "truth" we are to settle into consist of a series of propositions, or is there a more relational element to it, since Christ proclaimed, "I am the truth"? (John 14:)

            As to, "we will just let God sort it all out when we get there" - didn't Christ teach exactly that? See Matt 13:30, 49,50. He gave us the commission to proclaim the truth of the gospel - that He came to save us when we could not save ourselves. And the way I understand it, He kept for Himself and the angels the job of sorting it all out.

          • The whole basis of the ecumenical movement is based upon "love." Mrs. White points out the platform of this so called unity:

            Chapter XXXV - Character and Aims of the Papacy
            Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendency, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground, that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which has been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery, and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed. {GC88 563.1}

            This movement now amongst us for "unity" is a call to the same concept. While TRUE unity cannot be coerced it is the call for us to become one AS Christ and our Father in heaven are one!

            Here is Christ prayer in John 17 making this point clear:

            “20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

            Paul again made this clear in 1 Corinthians 1:10! "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

            He was/is BEGGING God's people to REAL unity and such unity can ONLY be based upon TRUTH, truth as it is in The Word of God, NOT in our own opinions. 

            “God is leading out a people TO STAND IN PERFECT UNITY UPON THE PLATFORM OF ETERNAL TRUTH. … God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’”

            “How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 17.

            Inge Anderson you asked how does this happen? That last statement shows us how. It is through an answer to sincere, humbling prayer.

          • Daniel, please pardon me if I did not make clear that I am not advocating for "unity" at the cost of foundational truth. I am not advocating for ecumenism, which is built on false unity by compromising principle.

            As I understand it, this series of lessons is specifically focused on unity among believers in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and that is what I am addressing.

            I am not advocating for a nebulous counterfeit of the self-renouncing love that is demonstrated in the character and the life of Jesus Christ who revealed God in human flesh.

            Thank you for the quotation that makes clear the basis of unity among God's people:

            “God is leading out a people TO STAND IN PERFECT UNITY UPON THE PLATFORM OF ETERNAL TRUTH."

            Note that this says nothing about being united on manmade policies - whether voted by the majority or not. God's messenger to this church made clear that in different areas of the world, different policies should be implemented. These areas were not to be controlled by "Battle Creek" (now the GC administrative council).

            God's people are to be united "upon the platform of eternal truth." Can we agree that this platform of truth is first and foremost about the character of God? It is, after all, the subject of the Great Controversy. Jesus came to this planet to engage the fallen angel directly on his turf. He came to reveal the character of the Godhead - a character of self-renouncing love in contrast to the character of self-seeking Lucifer turned Satan and his followers. He revealed that the only compulsion known in the Kingdom of Heaven is the compulsive power of love. He came to set fre the prisoners of the king of this world - the one who uses compulsion to keep his followers in line.

            The program of God in this world has many facets, but the controversy over His character is central to every one of them. The last message of mercy to be given to this world is, after all, a revelation of God's character of love. In this light, we can understand the Three Angels' messages a bit better. The first Angel announces the Gospel message in the context of the soon-coming judgment. It reveals the character of the Creator in a winsome manner so people will want to worship Him and be safely covered by the blood of Christ in the imminent judgment. The second message that "Babylon is fallen" will be most effectively preached by the lives of people transformed by God's grace - in stark contrast to the self-serving principles of worldly society. Words may have to be used, but they mean nothing without the demonstration of the truth by a character marked by self-renouncing love. The third angel's message is similar but even more urgent.

            We have been too focused on earthly organizations and too little on Christ. Thus we understand that as time goes on and we study more, we will have less to say about the Catholic church. I believe that is so because of our growing understanding of Christ's centrality in all our doctrines, particularly in the great controversy. (Also see Evangelism, p. 575)

      • What is the greater unity - respecting and loving each other even while we may not all think the same, OR all agreeing to think the same (on threat of expulsion if we do not) and act the same.

        It seems to me that the Pharisees did a fair job of agreeing to the same beliefs and acting the same. Is that really the unity Christ wants?

        Another question:
        Is there any virtue in the church service, including music, be exactly the same in Germany, in Kenya, in the USA, and in the Philippines?

        Is it possible to agree to the same teachings, the same service and the same music and still not be "one" as Christ wants us to be?

  9. Thank you Daniel for sharing, Amen to what you said, only the LOVE OF THE TRUTH unite's us in unity and set's us free. Also to add this scripture in Galatian 5-22,23,25. When we have the FRUIT' OF GOD'S SPIRIT AND WALK IN HIS SPIRIT we are able to have unity. Because GOD only teache's LOVE.

  10. Daniel. Would you mind outlining the specific truths that you see that people would need to be in agreement about in order to be united in Truth?

    • Phil my response is more of a question to you. Tell me what between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22:21 is not relevant to our understanding of Truth? Mrs. White calls what will bring about REAL unity is the Straight Testimony! I quote:

      As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them. {EW 270.1}
      I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people. {EW 270.2}
      I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified. {EW 270.3}
      Said the angel, "List ye!" Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, "Look ye!" My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy. {EW 270.4}

      The results is the Church Militant! Have you ever read about the vision she had called "The Two Crowns?"

      • The foundation to God and to all aspects of the life He lives (zoe: Gk) and to all aspects of life within the entirety of His creation is self-renouncing love. This is the foundation upon which and from which all other aspects of reality arise. All these other aspects also have that same fundamental nature - self-renouncing love. This is Truth - and Truth consists of and constitutes all'truths'.

        An analogy would be a robust building like the one described in Matt 7:24,25: it has a solid foundation upon which all else rises. That foundation is the Law/principle of self-renouncing love. The reality of all other elements that sit upon and rise from the foundation constitute Truth and truths. The outcome of this entire building is a unified dwelling - unity is a natural outcome. Every aspect of the building is unified, but the specific role and functions of the various constituent elements are varied and diverse.

        Paul is making this same point using the analogy of a body in Romans 12. And then at the end of Romans 13 he states that there are 3 things that remain: faith, hope and love and that the greatest of these is love. Why is it the greatest? Because it is foundational to faith and hope. What is faith? Belief in what is declared by God to be Truth (Rm 4:21,22).

        Yes, everything between Gen 1 and Rev 22 is Truth. It is Truth to be lived as well as Truth to be shared appropriately.

        I read the EGW passage you quoted and her vision "The Two Crowns". I am afraid I could not see their direct relevance to the claim that truth is THE basis of unity.

        And I have reviewed Tony Palmer's speeches and talks. Is everything he says error? No, a lot of what He says is Truth. And that is the problem - he has mixed Truth and error with the result that Truth has been misrepresented. Hence there is a need to distinguish between the 'baby and the bathwater' so the baby doesn't get thrown out too. This is what 2 Tim 2:15 calls for.

  11. Thanks so much, the first quarter 2018 has helped my grand son, He has now developed deep interest in reading the Bible. May God less the writers of the lessons.


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