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Sabbath: Global Rebellion and the Patriarchs — 14 Comments

  1. It is the solid foundation we'd have laid in God through Christ that matters much when are tried or separated. The most important thing is to know God's purpose for our lives. That purpose is attempted to be marred and distorted by the devil. God's purpose is to unite us back to Himself once more through our acceptance of Christ our Lord and Saviour through faith. Satan does not want us to spend valuable time with God through the meaningful study of the Holy Scriptures because Satan knows that our faith in God becomes matured through the study of God written Word and fervent prayer.

    • EGW mentions there being "a divine science," in the prayer of faith. And that "all who would make their lifework a success," must undersand it. (Education page 257) What is God's people's lifework? Is it not to become like His Son, Jesus, in character?

  2. Human rebellion is rooted in rejection of God’s word and may be traced to doubt of it in Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). Strangely though many claim to believe scripture, but seem little different from those who do not make that profession. Could prayer be the key factor?

    Why is prayer essential to Bible study? Does prayer automatically endow the student with intellectual ability to comprehend writings from another time? Or does the one who pray naturally obtain an understanding different from the one who does not? How about various believers praying and coming to different conclusions?

    The Bible is written mostly in plain language which both believers and others may understand up to a point. In fact the objective minded non-believer may quickly comprehend straightforward passages which the biased believer with pre-conceived ideas will not get.

    Undoubtedly there are sections of scripture which require special divine direction. These passages may be interpreted in diverse ways, but with humble prayer the Holy Spirit leads the surrendered mind to the appropriate meaning or intent, which is consistent with the overall purpose of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).

    Sincere prayer along with an emptying of self and a teachable disposition allows the Holy Spirit to guide in truth (John 16:13). Still there is no guarantee all will know or understand everything.

    Thankfully there is more. Prayer is essential because of the purpose of truth, which is to sanctify the believer (John 17:17). One may know a lot and still not be transformed. The Savior wishes to make a difference in the life through Bible study, even among those who do not seem to know a lot, but have a right attitude of humility and submission. Sincere prayer opens the heart and the word of truth fortifies the soul (Psalm 119:9-11).

  3. Hugh I agree there is no substitution for prayer. It is our only means of personally communicating with our God. I question how it is used sometimes however. For instance, does God hear and answer multiple prayers of an organized program, sooner or more likely than an individual alone in the quietness of his bedroom or study? Does it matter what we pray for? I read about a soldier during, I think world war 1, jumped into a fox hole ahead of some bullets and began digging it deeper with his hands and ran across a crucifix. While examining it another soldier jumped into the same foxhole. The first soldier realized it was a chaplain. The first soldier said "boy am I glad to see you". How do you make these things work? I wonder if we sometimes use prayer only when we face an urgent situation?

    • Paul,
      Thanks for your response. You make an astute observation. In some circles prayer is an emergency lever to be pulled when the Great Benefactor does not act soon enough. Some think it is a special gift of the Spirit, like tongues, entrusted to certain select saints. Some think there is power in prayer itself and it is a ritual that gets results. Some use prayer like a lottery ticket but with better odds.

      Prayer is an essential communication channel with God and there is actually something more important than the channel; and that is what goes into it. Attitude is more important than prayer because right attitude will lead one to humbly pray without ceasing; while prayer without right attitude avails little and does not get a response from God (Jeremiah 11:14). Unfortunately there are many prayers offered in Christendom in vain (Matthew 15:9; 22:14).

  4. Genesis 28:15 reminds me of a similar promise found in. John 14:14-18. Cain chose to disobey God. Free will in action, if you will. As Uza he had every opertunity to exercise his will for good. Genisis 4:7. Reminds us of what Jesus said when He was on this earth. John 14:12. Christ was born, lived, died, and rose out of the grave to forever be our intercession, garnering our salvation. If only Cain would have humbled himself before the Lord, and asked for forgiveness, realizing that he could not sanctify himself by the use of his own will. If only Cain would have learned from his brother that the renewing energy must come from God. A good lesson for us. Many of the Patriachs turned to God's ways after a mistake was maken. Genisis 4 implys Cain rejected God.

    • Why would God avenge someone like Cain, a rebel towards God and God's commandments, seven fold? How many times does God avenge a faithful follower of His?

      • There are different ways of reading that verse:
        4:15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.
        4:24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
        6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

        First who executes the vengeance?
        Remember Cain had just killed his own brother. He was a murderer who showed no remorse for this terrible deed of taking the life of his own brother. Cain was the father of a very violent race of humanity.
        Was God PROPHECYING the (un)justice system of Cain's line?
        After slaying his brother, Cain took his sister (his wife) and left his father's household. But no sooner did he have descendants then he built a city. He was most likely a ruthless ruler in that city. His "kingdom" which after several hundred years filled most of the earth, was a violent one.

        So who was executing the vengeance?
        I don't believe it was God.
        The pre-flood civilization went evil and totally violent, filled with hatred and vengeance against each other, because that is where sin leads. Just study history of the feuds between tribes and it's not hard to realize how vengeance increases the death toll in ever increasing rounds.

        God operates on a completely different plan.
        He entreated Cain to rethink his course BEFORE Cain attacked his brother. God talked to Cain AFTER the crime giving him two opportunities to repent.
        God did not act in vengeance against Cain.

        Cain's punishment of having to leave his father's household were his own doing. How could he, in his unrepentant, rebellious, guilty state, continue to live with his mother, father and sisters (one may well have been Abel's wife).
        This earth is the "theater of the universe".
        Cain and his descendants showed the universe an example of what happens when people, with still the full intelligent capacity endowed the human race at creation, would be allowed to live (forever) in rebellion. Their life spans were nearly 1000 years.

        There was (and still is) murmuring of "Oh, eating a bit of fruit from the wrong tree was such a little thing, why bar them from the garden and the tree of life?" So God allowed them to live for nearly a 1000 years to show what happens when sinners continue to live and devise seemingly forever. The sin was doubting God's goodness and rebelling against Him. Cain and his descendants demonstrated the exponential explosive power of sin, seven times, seventy times to seventy times seven fold. Sin always leads down destructive, evil paths.

        Only Christ can turn that tide.

  5. Our God is love. Even though we are not following Him in a right way. but He is able to show us the right way to follow!

    • So does that mean that God's love makes him avenge the wicked seven times more than he avenges the righteous?

      • Pete, you could use any number of specific texts to come to false conclusions. Your question seems to be based on the idea that the Bible contains a set of rules that binds both God and man. In reality, the Bible is the record of God's interaction with humanity on a very personal basis. God wants a *relationship* with us, and that implies that He acts differently in different circumstances and with different people.

        In other words, you cannot draw universal conclusions from a single text. God relates to us as individuals in the context of specific time and place. The way He relates to you may be different from the way He relates to me - because you and I are different. In Cain's case, God was much more merciful than Cain deserved, and I believe He treats us that way too.

  6. Paul and Hugh, I totally agree with the points that both of you have identified. Prayer is very important and if we examine the world as it is today as well as the lives of professed Christians we will note that prayer has been placed on the back burner and it is brought forth only in time of dire need( something is need and they are in a situation and require help). I myself have been caught up in this web several time and my excuse was that I was always busy running to and fro. Unless the individual has a personal relationship with Christ, prayer will become less important as time goes by. Based on what Hugh said, we can look at it from the angle- is when we are to study God's word it is to our best interest that we pray for understanding. The Spirit of Truth reveals so much to us when we empty ourselves and are willing to be filled by God. Paul, when I am sitting in church, sometimes I ask God to remove the veils from my eyes so that I may see what transpires when we approach Him is such a manner. Like you, I ask....How sincere is the prayer at an organized program? example Divine Hour worship every Sabbath when its like a ritual and the same thing is prayed for but by different individuals every week. Is the prayer of a that quiet remorseful individual a sweeter incense to Christ in the Sanctuary? On the same note, Christ said ...A contrite heart He will not turn away Psalms 51:16-17, Psalms 102:17. When we pray and we realize the devastating impact sin has on our lives and those in the world we cant help but be sorrowful and saddened by it.

  7. The beauty of this lesson is the theme of grace all through.
    God does not eliminate a sinner so readily that such has no chance for repentance. Luciferer the rebel was afforded time, cain was afforded time, the generation of Noah was afforded time and we are also living in our probatory days. I pray this lesson touch as many and awaken as plenty from our rebellious slumber lest we die in our sins.

  8. Prayer is our only means of communication since we our first parents loss direct contact with God in Eden...God is love and would always find us where we are if truly and humbly seek Him


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